Jesus entered our world facing towards a cross and a resurrection. One of the amazing intentions of his life and his cross was to identify with us. He came low, conceived as a baby in the warm dark of a mother’s womb. A key aspect of his resurrection from death is to teach us to identify with him. He is from heaven, and we are to identify and work from that viewpoint.
The cross is a moment in time but is also a moment outside of time. The cross happened on human soil and in human history. The cross exists as a fact of who God is, was and will be, (Rev. 1:8) and also as a reality in the eternal realm encircling time. It can’t be erased. It is anchored beyond world history, born of love in the eternal counsels of the Trinity.
God chose to express himself, his love, and his vulnerably to the world as a cherished son on a Roman cross. He came into a world that was foreign to him by nature because of its sin, suffering and death. He empathized with humankind to the point of rejection by them and a criminal’s cursed death on a cross.
God judged sin through Jesus by identifying with all of our brokenness, becoming friends with the outcasts of society, attending their gatherings, and taking on the cross of an insurrectionist. Because he was an untainted, innocent man, he shouldn’t have died. The spiritual powers that govern our world had no right to have him murdered. His death broke any legal right they had over Jesus as a human and all who follow the resurrected One from that day until now have the right to live free from the domain of sin.
This is a reflection on the Christ-gift: God revealing his truest, best side to us through Jesus. God chose to be vulnerable to our evil through his Son. The evil in our world killed Jesus and it will one day kill most of us. We don’t know a clear “why” for sin, sickness and evil in the world, but we can know Jesus who is resurrection power.
In the angel’s words about Jesus’ first advent, “good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Lk 2:10). There is a Rescuer so much greater than the many evils of our world. It’s worth taking a pause from all the politics, plague and societal passion right now. We should look again to Jesus who can (and eventually will) set things right. Like a Christmas gift or a New Year’s resolution, allow fresh perspective to be cause for celebration!