Paradigms are funny things. We all have one, and it colors how we understand everything. How we interpret life…each other…God. Because of paradigms, we often don’t see things that are right in front of us.
Let’s talk about our cross paradigm. How are we to understand the cross of Christ?
This is pretty important since our paradigm about the cross colors how we will relate to God Himself.
I would like you to consider some possibilities that may shift the way you’ve looked at Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. That is, if you’re open to it. If not, you might be tempted to dismiss it because it’s not your paradigm. You may even label it something to justify your dismissal.
I will mention that it’s quite okay to think outside of our safe little doctrinal boxes once and awhile. And when we do, we might just discover something unexpected and wonderful.
I do have Scripture to support these ponderings, but since we’re just thinking out loud, I won’t include them here. Here are some random thoughts for your consideration:
What if we’ve been looking at what Jesus actually did on the cross all wrong?
What if Jesus’ sacrifice was not a payment for a debt but for our adoption?
What if God’s justice is not retributive but restorative?
What if God’s holiness was not so He would be separated from us, but through redemption, so He could set us apart for Him, to be in Him?
What if atonement is about a family reunion rather than a courtroom acquittal?
What if the cross is not about a pardon but about a new creation?
What if it wasn’t about God’s satisfaction but about our reclamation?
What if the cross was not appeasing the wrath of an angry God but was a rescue mission from a loving God?
What if God doesn’t hate sinners but loves them so much that He gave everything that mattered to Him so that they could be with Him forever?
What if the Father didn’t look away from Jesus when He took our sin to the cross, but was in Him, reconciling the world to Himself? What if we were the ones who needed reconciling?
What if Jesus took our enmity and wrath?
What if the cross demonstrated who we were without God’s love?
What if the cross means that God is not counting our sins against us anymore?
What if the cross means our righteousness is not based on behaving but on believing?
What if salvation isn’t about saving us from God but about saving us from ourselves?
What if the cross of Christ is a symbol of healing and deliverance rather than one of punishment and wrath?
What if the Father didn’t take Jesus’ life instead of ours, but gave His life to us to live instead of ours?
What if Jesus’ incarnation–Immanuel, God with us–tells us that God is more about intimacy than transcendency?
What if the cross changed our identity from slaves to sons and daughters?
What if the cross changed our orientation—from living from earth to heaven, to living from heaven to earth?
What if Jesus took on our human nature so that we could partake in His divine nature?
What if Jesus took our death to the grave so He could bring us to His life in the Divine Fellowship of God that He has enjoyed with the Father and Spirit from eternity? What if we are there… now…whether we know it or not?
What if this is what the cross of Christ is all about—in a word…love.