A Piercing Question from the Cross

by Apr 22, 2011

This weekend we will allow the intensity of the cross to sink in to our souls. The ugly, brutal, disgusting reality of the unjust execution of Jesus, the King of Kings, willingly himself to go through incredible pain and misery when he could have easily saved himself from it at any time. And God the Father, the sovereign ruler of the universe, watching the whole thing without moving a muscle to stop it.

That should stir up all kinds of questions for us.

What’s the Question?

It stirred up lots of questions for Paul. In Romans 8, he’s reflecting on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. He says, “God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all” (Romans 8:32).

Just let that fact sink in for a minute. God did not spare his own Son. His one and only son, the one who he loved.

For us. The ones who hated him and rebelled against him and wanted nothing to do with him.

I would never do that. Not even for people who like me! I would never sacrifice one of my sons for you people. Maybe I would sacrifice you for one of my sons, but the other way around? God did.

Why Wouldn’t He Give us Everything?

Paul says, “He did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all.” And his most pressing question comes from that truth… “How will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

Think about that.

Think of all the things God could ever give you.  How valuable are they to him next to the life of his own son? I would give you anything I own before I gave you one of my boys!

But God has proven that he’s the opposite. He started out by giving you his son. The most valuable thing in the entire universe. And so why wouldn’t he give you anything else? If he was already willing to give up what’s most valuable to him, then everything else is easy for him to give!

What Do You Need?

Think about something you want God to give you.

Maybe you need growth in some area. Lately in my life, I’ve seen an impatient streak coming out. I’m becoming a grumpy old man. I’ve already got four kids and a minivan… I’m already halfway there. So I pray all the time for God to make me patient and gentle and humble.

And Paul says just 3 verses earlier in this chapter that God will conform me to the image of his son (Rom 8:29).  He’ll take away my impatience and turn it into love.

As Paul might say, “He did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him graciously give you growth and maturity and holiness?”

Maybe you need companionship. You’re going through something painfully difficult in life, and you feel all alone. Maybe you were depending on a certain relationship to bring you joy and security and comfort, but now it’s gone.

Jesus said in Matthew 28, “I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” He’ll be there to comfort you, and encourage you.

As Paul would say, “He did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him graciously give you friendship and encouragement?”

Maybe you need guidance. You’ve got some big decisions to make, and you have no idea how you should even make them. You don’t even know what questions to ask.

It says in James 1, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. “ God won’t hide his will from you… he’ll make it clear as day.

Paul: “He did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him graciously give you guidance and direction?”

What Do You Really Need?

God will give you all things. But most important of all those things is forgiveness.

Because the biggest problem we have in life isn’t our need for growth, or friendship, or guidance. Our biggest problem is that our sin has made us profoundly offensive to God.

We rebelled against God, and became his enemies. And we racked up a staggeringly unpayable debt to God in the process. That’s why Jesus went through all of the agony we will remember this weekend. He took God’s punishment in our place, so our debt could be forgiven.

As Paul says in Col0ssians 2: 13, “God made us alive together with Christ, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

God gave you his son so you could give him your unbearable debt of guilt and shame. And that’s why this weekend is the best weekend of the year.