As the heavens are high above the earth, so was what Jesus suffered for us above the terrible physical aspects of it all. Since I can’t fully grasp even the physical dimensions of His agony, how can I begin to appreciate what went on there in His separation from His Father God…the eclipse, for however long, of that eternal, intimate relationship? Their hearts had beaten as one from eternity until this moment of all moments. No way can I understand the rupture that Jesus’ sin-bearing caused.
We stand at the seaside, look at and touch the water. “Yes…” we say, “It is wet.” “Yes…” we say, “It is big.” “Yes…” we say, “It is powerful.” Have we therefore comprehended it? No! We stand at the Cross. “Yes…” we say, “Look how He suffers.” “Yes…” we say, “Behold how He loves us!” “Yes…” we say, “God has forsaken Him.” And we say many other true things. Have we therefore comprehended the Cross? No. No way! Never!
So we keep coming back, as we should, as we must. We come young and old, rich and poor, and all the levels between. We come from every walk of life…from every race…of every intellect…and in every condition. The ground at the foot of the Cross is level. No one of us assumes a position over another. Here we are all just needy sinners…prodigals all, looking for home and hoping the stories are true…that there really is a Father Who will run to welcome us…to embrace us, kiss us and take us home with Him.
We come trembling…and gaze in horror at the young God from Nazareth Who has already suffered so much on the Tree that He no longer looks human. We come in abject shame that our terrible sins have led to this which we see before us and, yet, we come in deep, deep gratitude that He would volunteer Himself like this for us. We come in faith, knowing that it is for us He died and that it was not in vain. We come in hope…a thing we had long ago given up until this…until now. Now we know that since He thought us worth such effort, then, for His sake, we cannot give up on ourselves. And we come in love. For the Son of Man has been lifted up and we are drawn by the force of His amazing love and sacrifice. As we look through our tears at the very dying form of the One suffering there for us, we feel our hearts change within us. We know we will love Him forever. We know and are so glad that our lives will never be the same. We determine to see everything in the light of the Cross, and to know nothing among others except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We have a new reason in life…“For Him.” Whereas once we saw Him almost nowhere, now we see Him everywhere…in every good and beautiful thing…and even, in every suffering human. It occurs to us that what we have seen and now know many others also need to know. They must also be brought to the Cross. Love leaves us no choice we can accept, and we turn from the sight of the Cross, and go in the lasting power of its memory to seek and bring them. Now we are beginning to feel the power of His Cross…beginning to understand. Comprehend? No. But beginning to understand? Yes! By His grace and to His glory.