MOMentum is a feature on my blog that attempts to connect the power of the gospel to the mom experience. 🙂
“I need to see the cross!” was the emphatic statement of my two-and-a-half year old son, Caleb. No, he wasn’t some sort of theological savant. He had a morbid obsession with the cartoon picture of Jesus dying on the cross in his Bible story book. He wanted me to find that picture for him.
Caleb does need to see the cross. He needs to see it as something done for him. He needs to see it as something done by him. All of my kids need to see this. And I need to see this as well.
I have a tendency to want to race past the cross on my way to the throne of grace. I can zoom my kids past the cross as well when I’m walking them through correction. We identify the sin, pray for forgiveness, and ask for grace to change. We even include a “thank you for dying on the cross for my sins” part to our prayer. But still, I can neglect directing their attention to the cost of such lavish grace in their lives. I want to think of ways to show them the cross, not just in the moment of correction, but outside of those moments.
Is this morbid like Caleb’s toddler infatuation with a picture in his storybook? I don’t think so. I think seeing the cross will keep us from taking our sins lightly because we see what our sin deserves at the cross. I think seeing the cross will help protect us from blaming others for our sins because at the cross Jesus took our blame. I think seeing the cross will protect us from condemnation as we see our guilt and shame being completely taken by Jesus on the cross. I think seeing the cross will keep us humble as we see the sinless, holy One hanging there in our place. I think seeing the cross will reveal the love of God for us, and in turn we will love Him more.
I long for the day when my children will say on their own, “I need to see the cross.” Until that day comes, and even after, I want to lead them to the throne of grace, but on our way, stop and consider the means by which we enjoy such lavish forgiveness and grace: the cross of Jesus Christ.
Now we see Jesus brought before the priests and rulers, who pronounce him guilty; God himself imputes our sins to him, “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all;” “He was made sin for us;” and, as the substitute for our guilt, bearing our sin upon his shoulders, represented by the cross; we see the great Scapegoat led away by the appointed officers of justice. Beloved, can you feel assured that he carried your sin? As you look at the cross upon his shoulders, does it represent your sin? There is one way by which you can tell whether he carried your sin or not. Have you laid your hand upon his head, confessed your sin, and trusted in him? Then your sin lies not on you; it has all been transferred by blessed imputation to Christ, and he bears it on his shoulder as a load heavier than the cross.
“Let not the picture vanish till you have rejoiced in your own deliverance, and adored the loving Redeemer upon whom your iniquities were laid.”