Nine-year-old Bryan lived in a little village not far from London. Bryan’s parents were agnostics, but they felt that at least once in his life, he ought to go to church. That is why they dressed him up in a little black suit and black bow tie and asked the governess to take him.
That Sunday, the preacher told about the crucifixion of a Man. He described the nails driven through the Man’s hands, the crown of thorns jammed upon His head, the blood that ran down His face, and the spear that ripped into His side. He described the agony in His eyes and the sorrow in His voice when He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Halfway through the sermon, little Bryan was crying. Wouldn’t somebody do something? Wouldn’t the crowd rise together and take the Man down from the cross? But as he looked around in astonished surprise, he saw that the people were complacent. “What’s the matter with these people, Nanny?” he asked. “Why doesn’t somebody tell them to take that man down from the cross?”
Patting Bryan on the shoulder, his nanny nervously whispered in reply, “Bryan, Bryan, be quiet. It’s just a story. Don’t let it trouble you. Just listen quietly. You’ll soon forget about this old story when we go home.”
I wonder . . .
I wonder, have we heard the story of the cross so much that we are unaffected? Do we pass it off as if it is just some story? Have we closed our minds and our hearts to the excruciating reality of Christ’s death? Does it no longer motivate us to living for Him?
What do you see when you see the Cross of Christ?
Do you see the reality of sin? – But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6)
Do you see God’s hatred of sin? – Are you not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof. You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? (Habakkuk 1:12-13)
Do you see God’s love for sinners? – For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8)
Do you see God’s plan for reconciliation / redemption? – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:7-10)
Christ lived to die so that in Him we die so that we might live.