There are days when I need to clear my head, and I walk around the backyard of the parsonage here in New Home, Texas. As I walk around praying, it never fails, that I lift my head up, and see the cross on top of the church in the distance. My heart always leaps within me. Each time I see it, my understanding of the cross widens, and deepens.
I see it, and it reminds me that the cross was the crossroads for the attributes of God. It is where justice, and mercy embrace. It is where wrath, and love are revealed. It is where God’s sovereignty, and man’s responsibility are unveiled. It is where God shows His hand.
The most amazing reality of the cross is that Christ bore our sin. Our sin imputed to Him, and His righteousness imputed to us who have true faith in Jesus. Not only are our sins forgiven, but we are accounted as righteous because of Christ’s sinless, perfect life. That’s what 2 Corinthians 5:21 is speaking of, substitutionary atonement:
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Christ purchased His people, purchased the promises for us, and purchased our empowerment to overcome the sin in our lives. We can never be sinless this side of glory, but we can have victory over the dominating nature of our sin. The things that once had power over us, no longer have dominion. The things that used to consume us are now at war with the Holy Spirit, and He reigns supreme in our being. We are literally new creations in Christ.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
This new creation that we are in Christ, is not possible apart from the cross. It is not possible without payment made, without justice served, without wrath poured out, without love offered. He is just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Christ. The cross is where all of these things were made possible.
That is why the last verse, and chorus of this beautiful song, should be the song in our hearts as we walk through each day.
“Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death,
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.
This, the power of the cross:
Son of God – slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross“