The God on the Cross
I've got this question. Why, when we look at Jesus on the cross, do we tend to wonder first, "What does this act say about me?" Shouldn't we firstly, and mostly, wonder, "What does this say about God?" Jesus said that those who had seen Him have seen the Father. So, what do we understand about the Father by looking at Jesus on the cross? That's the question to ask first.
Our pop psychology culture has taught us to look for our significance in everything, to wonder what everything means, to, for and about us. We love personality tests and spiritual gift tests (in the church) to tell us more about us. Those things are useful, no doubt, but also I think we kind of get a kick out of it. I know I do sometimes, whether its put to any good use or not. We love to dig deeper into us. Yet, we can't muster the enthusiasm to dig deeper into our Creator. How funny and how not funny.
Against that backdrop we often take the cross and use it as nothing more than another way to boost the self-esteem. To say, "See, you are worth something after all. Cheer up." When, perhaps, God is saying, "Look at Me! Look outward, outside yourself...see who I AM! Esteem Me, not yourself!"
My personal belief is that we generally lack God-esteem, not self-esteem. If we rightly esteemed Him, many questions of "self" would dissolve. They wouldn't even be answered necessarily, but rather would become non-existent and unnecessary.
This doesn't take away from, or lessen, the fact that we are His beloved. It only changes the focus. It reverses the cause and effect. The cross doesn't say, you are so special and so wonderful that I died for you. The God on the cross first says, "I AM Love." "I AM Sacrifice." "I AM Power." "I AM Humility." "I AM Freedom from fear of death." Among other things.
It says that you are loved because I AM love and you are special only because I have chosen to set my love on you. You didn't earn it...you aren't lovable enough, cute enough, smart enough, good enough, sweet enough. It's about Me, not you.
After that understanding comes, it can be about us.
See, a thing is only about me as much as its about me. Makes perfect sense, right? Probably not ;) I might come back and read this whole post next week and go, "Huh?"
The point is that I think it's a great question to ponder: "What does the God on the cross teach me about Himself, about the three-in-one God?" Let's go beyond, "He died for you because He loves you, therefore, you're a worthy creature," and see what else we can see. Let's who it is that has set His love on us and why that's a really big deal.