The Most Horrific Yet Wonderful Thing In This World

The Most Horrific Yet Wonderful Thing In the World

 

 “We never move beyond the Cross, only into a more profound understanding of it.”

Martin Luther

 IF the above quote is right, then, when we consider the reality of evil, we must ask the question, ‘How does evil help us move into a more profound understanding of the Cross?’ Such a question may seem odd, because it implies that ‘evil’ can lead to something good (to help us understand the Cross better) – this, really, isn’t normally how we think of evil.

 The horrific face of evil

We all agree that evil is real. It exists. It is horrific. Consider the Nazis destroying human lives by the millions, the massacres in Russia, the killing fields of Pol Pot, and the many untold stories of pain: How shall we describe these? One word, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else – evil. The face of evil in the world is horrific.

While we are aware of the evil in the world, let us be mindful of the evil in our hearts. The Scriptures tell us that all have sinned (Rom 3:23) and one expression of this is that “every intention of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was only evil continually” (Gen 6:5). We don’t have to go far to see this: Open the Newspaper, Turn on the News, Take a Video of members of a family quarreling, or reveal the thoughts of our hearts and minds to the world. The face of evil in us is horrific.

With these as the background, we can say that evil is what caused the Cross. In a world without evil, Jesus wouldn’t have had to die. Indeed, the torture, the mockery, and the crucifixion of the Son of God is nothing less than evil. But this was His Mission. Jesus knew this. To defeat evil, He must first face evil.  And He faced evil. And in that moment when He absorbed evil, Jesus was made to be sin (2 Cor 5:21). So the Father, who is of “purer eyes than to see evil” (Hab 1:13), turned His face away from His Son, and Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”

Is this not the most horrific thing in the world? ‘Twas I who shed the sacred blood, I nailed Him to the tree, I crucified the Son of God, I joined the mockery. Horrific: It was the evil in us that murdered Jesus – we became God-killers.

The Wonderful Face of Jesus

But, wonder at Jesus: Death could not hold Him, Evil couldn’t destroy Him, in absorbing our evil and bearing the punishment for it in our place, He overcame and destroyed evil! Here are three things we can learn about the Cross from this:

1. The Cross heals our deepest needs. Jesus alone is the evil-Defeater. Our greatest problem is the evil in our hearts. He alone can forgive us of the evil in our lives, heal the hurts caused by the evils of others, and defeat the evil in our hearts.

2. The Cross is our greatest hope. The Cross shows that God has done something about evil, and one day, one day, one day, evil will be completely wiped out. The suffering Christian can say, ONE DAY evil will be gone, and with it hate, injustice, violence, pain, suffering..

3. The Cross is our best Apologetic. The Cross is proof that God doesn’t actively cause evil, no, He hates evil. The Cross is proof that God is concerned about the evil in the world and He has done something about it. How can God be all-loving and all-powerful and there be evil in the world? Well, it is because God is all-loving and all-powerful that He has ensured that one day, there will no longer be evil and suffering in the world. (While this doesn’t answer the objection, it questions the soundness of the premise).

 Conclusion

Removing the evil in the world involves removing evil in the hearts of individuals – one heart at a time, in your heart and mine. Has the power of the Cross confronted the evil in your heart? This is where it must begin. When Jesus reigns in us, evil will not. The way to confront evil in our hearts, is for us to die to self, to get on the Cross with Jesus (Gal 2:20), and to have fellowship with Him in His sufferings (Phil 3:10). May the Holy Spirit mortify the evil in our hearts, as part of His work to save an evil world, that we may participate with Him to heal a broken world – one heart at a time.

Behold the Cross. It is horrific that you and I caused the Cross. But it is wonderful that Jesus bore the horrors, took our sins, and destroyed the evil on that Cross. Now, the Cross is there before you and I: If anyone comes after Me, let him take up His Cross. The way to live is to die – before our resurrection, let us go to Calvary.

Daryl first got acquainted with  Transform Student Ministries in 2011 serving in the Summer Intern Program. When we asked Daryl for a short bio for the blog, he told us that he is a great sinner, and has a great Savior.

 

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