Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:1 (propitiation = wrath appeasing sacrifice)
Gazing upon my crucified Lord is beauty, horror, kindness, and terrifying severity. When I see Him hanging there bleeding, torn, mocked, reviled, scourged, beaten, despised, bearing the reproach of a villain, enduring the scorn of man, the rage of Satan and the wrath of God.... I see exactly what I deserve. In the cross I see a perfect substitutionary death; I see precisely what should be mine. Behold Him, and see what sin deserves. Behold Him and be reminded that sinner deserves wrath, the grave, and hell. This cross shows the Majesty of God and the severity of sin. Here we see of how God feels about sin. Here displays His blazing holiness.
However, this also shows His great lengths & kindness of heart towards His depraved yet still beloved image bearers. He put on a human frame just to be thrashed, torn, and cast into a violent, shameful death...what? Who would do such a thing? Who would endure wrath and indignation deserving an enemy? Who is this Jesus?
This shows us His reach to redeem & win the heart of His enemies. How far does His reach go? How far was love Himself willing to go for the object of His affection? He came from the very highest splendor of heaven to the very lowest depths of sheol. He sacrificed more than we can imagine. He was and is higher than we will ever comprehend and He came far lower than we will ever know. He traveled infinitely further than what we have the capacity to discern.... and why? Why did He do it? Why travel a vast chasm that no finite being could possible travel? Why? It was Love; the very flame of Love; the very Author of love; the One who is an all consuming fire of love. He did it for love! Love for underserving, wretched, hopeless, miserable sinners. This is how far love will go. The greatest paradox of this love is just how undeserving, how inappropriate, humanity is to receive this love. It would be one thing to travel further than the known universe for the greatest treasure or infinite wealth.... but for sinners? This is where the human mind fails, it cannot comprehend, it has no words, it begins to breakdown, it cracks and bursts and responds with one word... HOLY! He is totally other-than. Somehow,.... I am the treasure that My creator transcended all boundaries to buy back. Somehow... I am His Beloved.
He showed us His crowing glory, the highest demonstration of love. The cross itself embodies the very fullest of all of God's love poured out in a real moment in time. This cross is the very highest expression of Love from God's heart. Nothing He will ever do in his perfect kindness will ever surpass the gift of the cross. Forever, we will gaze upon His nail pierced hands; forever we will grow in understanding of How great His love really is. I never have to wonder again how He feels towards me! He has shouted a message that will forever reverberate down through eternity.... He shouts will all His might to humanity!!!! This is How much I love You!!! To doubt His love, is to doubt this cross. To doubt this cross is to doubt the every essence of who He is. The cross will forever be at the very center of our interactions with the Godhead. Forever we will be confounded with how undeserving we were and how merciful He was. The gap of this glorious dichotomy will forever grow in our understanding and as it does praises and explosions of Joy will continually break forth. Forever His holiness, majesty and splendor will grow before us. Moment by moment He will continue to reveal to us the indescribable heights of His Glory then and only then will we begin to comprehend how far below His splendor he descended when He plummeted into the depths of sheol to die our death. As we see that infinite gap growing we will be led right into the eternal ebullience of being struck down over and over by our inability to understand one so full of Love... He is HOLY!
For this is the theology of night and day prayer; this is the theology of worship. Behold Him and you too will be like the seraphim thrust into a torrent of worship that will never cease day and night, night and day for eternity. No one on that day will ask how to allocate time. No one will have any arguments about continuously beholding Him. No one will resist His glory. He will be universally adored! From the darkest depths of hell, to the most debased vile sinner, to the saints, to the angels, to the heights of Heaven He will be worshipped by all. Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess, that Jesus is LORD! Every eye will gaze upon Him, and all will bow down and Kiss the son! Everything that Has breath will praise Him! He will be pre-eminent in all things! For the LORD alone will be exalted on that Day! For ALL things are by Him for Him through Him and to Him! Oh that glorious day! Beloved you will gaze upon His beautiful face and glorious wounds one day and you will be swept away into the reason you exist to give glory to the infinitely beautiful crucified LORD Jesus.
The good news of the gospel is that you don't have to wait till then.... you can take the plunge into the endless ocean of His renown now and drown that board dead old man and become a fascinated lovesick one who lives preoccupied with the glory of another. BEHOLD the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!