Projecting our deep wounds on God is how we formulated our psychotic images of Him. As Baxter Kruger says we painted the face of God with the tar of our angst. We were ashamed and took matters into our own hands by fashioning coverings with fig leaves. In the darkness of the bushes we have formulated chimeric images of a schizophrenic God who swings between rage and kindness and can never be satisfied with our puny offerings. That isn’t God. That image is a mirror. That is who we see in us. We see an insecure, disgusted judge who must have balance and jurisprudence to satisfy our deepest desires for security. That isn’t God. That is a reflection of our delusion. This is why the cross. The only way we would trust in and surrender to our God was to project our pain and rejection on Him and see His reaction is love not rage. We had to see Jesus become our psychosis so much so that He was no longer recognizable as a human before we would have faith in a God we were certain was going to disfigure us.
Are you beginning to see the brilliance of God’s love? We humans were convinced that God gave us diseases and sickness to mutilate our bodies as punishment for our “repugnant sinning.” So we beat Jesus and whipped our God until he appeared worse than any leper. He became the repugnant one. He became the despised one. He became the image of what we thought God saw in us and was willing to do to us because he was disgusted with us.
Can you see the wisdom of the cross? Jesus healed everyone who came to Him. In doing so He was forgiving their sins. We humans believed, without a shadow of doubt, that the blind and sick and lame were broken because God did it to them as punishment for their sinning or their ancestors sinning. When Jesus healed them with no sacrifice or blazing alter or shedding of blood or priests or ritual…wow was He making a point. He was declaring in an undeniable certainty that those people were forgiven. The healing was their proof that God didn’t do it to them. Then on the cross Jesus was mutilated in “punishment” so much so that anyone would look at Him and say “God must really hate that guy.” But the opposite was the case. God was loving us as one of us being subjected to the angst of us. No more paintbrushes in our minds. Jesus was the projection of our hate and anger and rage and venom in the flesh. In all of that He loved us. In all of that He saved us. From the lowest point of all humanity, as the most disgusted and rejected criminal, as the worst sinner who ever lived (they called Him Beelzebub), He was saving us…ALL OF US!!!!!
This is why I get so fired up when I hear the voice of the accuser. When I hear that slithering snake of venomous causation I writhe in my own skin. “You can’t be saved or loved or accepted because of what you have done” he hisses. When I hear the judgment voice of damnation I am shocked that we can’t see the cross. “Well brother that child is a miserable pile of poop like everyone else so he will burn too” says the pious pew perched parishioner. How can we miss our Father’s heart so much? How can we confuse the words of Jesus when he said this:
Mat 7:1 “ Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. (ESVST)
Why the cross? We don’t have or get to judge anyone ever again. Jesus judged us all on the cross. He is joined to us all in the incarnation. He is alive now as the incarnate Son of God revealing His Father to us. The Holy Spirit is illuminating this reality. We get to declare the good news of Jesus. How could we condemn anyone ever again? ALL means ALL:
Jn 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (ESVST)
Rom 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. (ESV)
2Co 5:15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (ESV)
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (ESV)
Heb 2:9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (WEB)
1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (ESV)
So we don’t get to judge. We don’t have to judge. God has that covered.
Rom 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. (ESV)
Rom 14:10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. (ESV)
And remember Jesus judgment is no judgment. He is not keeping a ledger. The “accounting” is to let Him not judge us or insist on our way:
Jn 12:47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. (ESVST)
1 Cor 13:5 It (Love) does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (NIV)
I know it sounds scandalous. I know it sounds too good to be true but then again God is too good for our fallen minds to believe is possible. That is why John reminds us of this:
1Jo 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God (ESVST)
1Jo 4:17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (ESVST)
So we who have “seen” His love for us which is the work of the Holy Spirit should be sharing that loving good news with another. That is our message. We are God’s children is our declaration from the rooftops:
2Co 5:18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (ESV)
2 cor 5:14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (ESV)
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah! Because of his great mercy he has granted us a new birth, resulting in an immortal hope through the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah, from the dead (ISV)
Why the cross? We can do what Jesus told us to do…tell everyone they are forgiven. Tell everyone that God is not their enemy. Tell everyone they are a child of God. Tell everyone they are included in the family of God. Tell everyone that Jesus died to proves His love and acceptance for us. Tell everyone that they are a new creation born from above seated in Jesus in the heavenly places. Tell everyone that they are in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father and He is in us. That is their judgment. They may accept it or not and you may never know. That is why the cross. We get to love others as He loved us.
One thought on “Why the cross? – part three”
I’m a bit speechless and a little out of breath. Too many wow’s to type. I’m seeing through a bit of haze- only to find I’m actually standing in the land of pure freedom and love. Thanks Lance for selling everything for this land and plowing it for its limitless treasures. Now I’m going to re-read :))
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