My oldest daughter, Ashley, recently posted a piece on her husband Andrew’s blog that stands in opposition to the “you are to die for” message often used in reference to Christ’s motivation for the cross.
The “you are to die for” message more than implies some glint of personal value in me that was worth all the “trouble” Christ went through on the cross. It minimizes the fact that there is nothing good in me to recommend myself and it makes me the focus of the cross; not the Trinity.
Jacobson reminds us:
Though the cross is the only place I can go for hope; though the cross is the only thing I can cling to in the courtroom of God; though the cross is the only thing that can bring me ultimate joy and freedom; though the cross is the thing that stands between me and eternal condemnation; though the cross is the only option for my redemption; though the cross is my ultimate hope…
The cross is NOT ultimately about me.
The ultimate aim of Christ on the cross was to display definitively, absolutely, undoubtedly, irrevocably the GLORY of God!
The ultimate aim of Christ on the cross was to show the totality of the supremacy of God over sin, death, and the devil.
The ultimate aim of Christ on the cross was to end, without question, the eternal battle with Satan.
The ultimate aim of Christ on the Cross was to witness to the holiness and justice of God who cannot tolerate sin.
The ultimate aim of Christ on the cross was to display the massive, undeniable righteousness of God who is Just and the Justifier of those who trust in Jesus…
Ah, but here is the glorious mystery that should make my heart stop: in the cross, Christ is pleased and glorified in my justification from sin. I benefit eternally for him conquering sin. When he conquered sin, my sin, he made himself both just and my justifier. The victory that brought him ultimate glory has brought me life.
So, even though I am not the ultimate aim of the cross, there is nothing else but the cross that can be my aim.