The touch of God in the cross

In the spirit of Holy Week, I offer words of inspiration from pastor and theologian Gerrit Scott Dawson (pictured at right). Dawson's writings wonderfully "flesh-out" a Trinitarian theology. The quote below is from his excellent book, "I am with You Always."

Because the cross of Christ's agony is a gift to us, we may go there with our sorrows and pain. We bring our situations to the cross and let them feel the touch of God in the cross. When we find a connection point between the terrible, suspending pain of our trials and the cross of Christ, we see there God's touch. He takes our pain unto himself and tends it. He can redeem the situations of our lives so that, beyond hope, something good can come even in the worst situation....

Jesus the man of sorrows lived and died in the affliction of humanity. He is intimately acquainted with all our pains. But hear the news:...He still attends to the grief of this mortal life. This Christ still lives in us through his Spirit, and together we are his body. He makes his appeal to the world through us. Though he suffered once for all on the cross, he continues to pray for us in heaven. There, still fully human as well as fully God, he experiences, as in his own body, the joys and sufferings of his people. We have a mystical link with him. In affliction, we enter what Paul has described as "the fellowship of his sufferings" (Phi. 3:10)....

As we are afflicted, Christ shares in the grief. He grieves in us. In his people, he suffers their ills. Even on the cross, Christ turned out from himself and toward us in forgiveness.

He opened the way for us to come to him on the cross with our pains and sorrows. Bringing the suffering one our suffering, we see in the cross the touch of God. And that touch is soothing. That presence is healing.

Though our circumstances may not change we see our lives taken up in Christ, even our griefs taken into his grief, and we are not alone. Moreover, we have the confidence that God will work even our grief for the good, making us more and more like his Son and fitting us for eternal life.

Comments

  1. "Oh! Joy! You are here!"

    Often the events of Jesus dying on the cross are described in terms of a tormented Jesus being abandoned by His Father because the sins of the world had come upon Jesus. The idea is that our sins are so horrible that the
    Father could no longer possibly be with His sin drenched Son. If this is so, I submit that the meaning of the crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is diminished and often missed.

    You see, there is another way of looking at the events of the cross. This way is not as an abandonment of the Son by the Father, but as the Father being "face to face" with Jesus as He died. And might I be a little bold in suggesting that Jesus may have had a smile of triumph on His face as He died? After all, the writer of Hebrews does tell us:

    Heb 12:2--Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame,and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NIV)

    My point is that we are talking about God here and His power over sin and death. As such, the events surrounding the death of Jesus on the cross actually represent a successful rescue mission, a liberation for us all, and a union of profound importance. The end result for us is our complete acceptance by the Father if we simply believe in the name of His beloved Son Jesus Christ.

    The best to you all!

    J. Richard Parker

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