At the Intersection of Pain, Sin and Love

“There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.” (John 19:18-20) The great American patriot Thomas Paine once wrote:  “That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly.  It is dearness only which gives everything its value, Heavens knows how to put a proper price on its goods.” Come to the foot of the cross and gaze at the sign:
  • He is King/Lord
  • He is Savior
  • This is the price He paid on your and my behalf.
For years the ancient Hebrews had offered up finest lambs as an expression of love for God and sacrifice for their sins.  It was an attempt to desperately bridge the chasm between God and humans, between heaven and earth. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the whole world!” (John 1:29)
  • Jesus on the Cross is God saying, “you don’t have to, I have”
  • The cross is more than a nice theory
  • The cross is greater than a kind thought
  • At the cross God incarnate hangs at the human juncture of pain, sin and love
The place of the cross is at the divine intersection with human despair and hope, anguish and embrace, sin and salvation, greed and grace.  George McLeod, the great Princeton preaching professor, has pointedly written:  “I simply argue that the cross be raised again at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church.  I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified between two candles but on a cross between two thieves; on the town garbage heap; at a cross roads so cosmopolitan that they had to write His title in Hebrew and in Latin and in Greek; at the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble, because that is where He died.  And that is what he died about.  And that is where churchmen [we would say disciples] should be and what churchmanship [discipleship] should be about.”graffiti cross May we together stand this day at the foot of the cross.