The intensity of the cross shows how difficult it was to atone for sin. When we see all that Jesus went through (starting at the incarnation and being born in a manger, and especially thought His sufferings in His passion); we will see the extreme measures it took for our sin to be atoned for. So what should this produce in us? When we see this facet of the cross we will be left knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that our sin has been judged and paid in full. The subtle condemnation and shame we carry around in part has to do with the reality that we have not seen, in all its horror, the wrath of God coming down upon our sin in Christ on the cross. If we perceive by revelation the wrath He underwent in our stead we won't wonder whether or not our sin has been paid for or not. With a lack of understanding of the total and complete penal substitution being paid in full we are left wondering if we are going to face judgement when He comes. As we begin to peer into the mystery of God hanging on a cross for us taking the wrath that we deserve we are left in awe that the punishment He underwent was so severe. This will clarify to our hearts how God feels about sin, and we will begin to cultivate the fear of the Lord. Also, we won't be confused at whether or not our sin has been paid for, but we will be in awe that the payment for our sin was so costly. This echos Peter's comment when He says that we haven't been redeemed by perishable things but by the precious and costly blood of Jesus Christ.... so just how costly is Christ's blood? Rather, how much is Christ blood worth? The more costly Christ's blood is perceived then we will start to understand 1. how costly paying for our sin really was 2. how much He was willing to pay for us. So the real question is how much is the blood of God the son in the flesh worth to God the Father? Beloved, when we see how precious this blood is and that is was willingly shed on our behalf all our wonder-ings about how God feels about us will be put to rest.... How much does God love you? His Blood shouts loud and clear "I love you this much"
When looking at the cross the church has mostly focused upon what has happened to us in light of the cross. I obviously love the benefits I receive from the cross (chiefly my justification); but How come we don't take the time to first sit at the foot of the cross and ask the question what happened to Him at the cross? Here are some questions to ask: What lengths did God have to go to to save me from my sin? What would cause this Christ to say yes to going through such extreme lengths to save me? What was it like for Jesus as a perfect spotless man to endure a judicial murder that He didn't deserve? What was it like for God in the flesh to allow one of His image bearers to scourge His back? What was it like to restrain from using His power to save Himself though with one word He could have called in 12 legions of angels? And what was it like to look at the Father and say, "I will take the wrath they deserve... I will bear their hell in my frame.... everyone of them that you give me". What was it like for God to pour out all the wrath that would be contained in an eternity in the lake of fire upon His own son?
Beloved, I think we need to spend less time meditation upon who we are in Christ because of the cross (which is glorious) and we need to go back and make our starting point meditating upon Christ on the cross. I don't want "ME" to be the end of my meditations, "what have you done to me?" I want the chief end of my meditations to be focused on Him! To me seeing Christ crucified by revelation answers all the questions and leaves us without a way to pervert the grace of God. If you see Christ in all His glory going through all the horror of the cross as the chief expression of His love to you now and forever giving you His free gift or righteousness and setting you free you from the tyranny of sin then you would never dare dabble in a grace message that lets you dabble on the fringes of sin. Beloved, If you see what sin did to your savior how can you go back to the very thing that killed Him? This is why the writer of Hebrews would ask you if you would like to crucify again the Lord of glory? Friendship with sin is friendship with the very thing that killed Jesus. Grace is the empowerment to walk in holiness motivated by love. Our apathy about the severity of sin shows us how utterly disconnected we are from the cross which is the chief event that defines us as Christians. Oh to see by revelation the glory and horror of the cross.