Because, we are sinners. That was simple. Do you take account of your sin, or do you normalize it, or “relativize” it? In other words, do you think, eh, my sin isn’t as bad as John or Suzie’s sin. Of course that would be to make the mistake that sin is only what “we see.” We all know that is not the case, sin really is what we can’t see. Sin starts out as “desire” (as James says), it is an unseen reality, it is an issue of the heart, it is the motive behind behavior that is the grossest aspect of the “process of sin.” I am not denying that sin is expressed in outward behavior, just that that behavior is a symptom of the real problem (isn’t this the point of Mt. 5-7).

The genius, better, the wisdom of God “expressed” at the cross is that it takes sin to its logical conclusion—death. But the greatest thing about the cross, the most powerful real aspect of the cross is the “motivation behind the cross,” the poured out humiliated life of God in Christ. This is what is “un-seen,” unless we are given eyes to see. That is why the world looks at the cross of Christ with disdain, or even more filthy, wonder at its significance; because the world looks at the cross apart from its motivation, apart from the love of Christ. But that really should not surprise us, viz. that the world looks at “externalities” that’s what makes them the world. The conviction should come when we, the Bride of Christ, looks at the cross the same way as the world. The skandal really comes when the “church” becomes aloof to the power of cross, when the cross becomes normal, when it has no real power but to “save us in the end” from hell (“fire insurance theology”).

The cross has “real time” power, because it is connected to the life and power of an indestructible life. Instead of just viewing the “external side” of the cross, which causes us to see it as foolish and weak, we [I] need to remember what is behind the cross, as he hangs on the cross. It is the love of Christ, it is a Person, and our union with this person should always and already make clear the seriousness and grossness of our sin; but beyond that, it should make even more clear that that sin no longer has “power” over us. Instead we should realize that our very joints and marrow have been penetrated and exhumed by the life of Christ . . . we look forward to that celebration on Sunday. In other words, what is “un-seen” has been dealt with in the most visible skandal of human history.

I hope the cross is a stumbling block for you today, not motivated by unbelief; rather by the belief and conviction that our sin has been dealt with in the wisest of ways. I hope the cross makes you [me] realize that our sin is serious, but that we don’t grieve as those without hope, we haven’t been left as orphans—NO! The cross isn’t the end, well maybe it is, it is the necessary end, which becomes the beginning; so walk in the beginning!

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