Upon the cross, we find hope


The little girl cries as the man leaves her little shack. The darkness of this world has overpowered her. At such a young age she sits there as a prostitute, sold into sex slavery as though she were a prize. Multiple Americans visit her, but none offer her any salvation. Day in and day out she must face the torture of this life. This world is broken.

As Susan falls to the floor she catches a sight of her son out the corner of her eye. As she falls down she motions for him to go back to his room. Before he can turn away, he witnesses his father – in a drunken rage – grab his mother by her hair and begin the process of beating her all over again. The son will face similar beatings as he grows up and proceed to unleash those beatings on his wife and children one day. This world is broken.

Robert sits in the chair next to his dying wife. He holds her hand as she struggles to breath. The cancer has taken so much of her away including her ability to breath. As he kisses her on her forehead, he watches painfully as she slips into eternity. Years of love, all the planning, promising to spend the rest of their lives together all comes to an end as her heart stops beating. In his early thirties, he must now face the fact that he is a single father – though he wants to mourn, he has no time because he has to take care of his daughter by himself. This world is broken.

Many people would attempt to deny that Original Sin exists, or that sin isn’t an inherent part of human nature. They would argue that this world is slowly progressing toward a better position. They would argue that humans are basically good. Yet, to the oppressed, to the poor, to the destitute, to those who’s lives have been blackened by the dark soot of sin, evil is very much a part of this world. This world is broken.

There is a lot of talk about ‘hope’. When asked to define hope, people merely say, “That things will get better.” They place their hope in causes and in politicians, not aware that their hope will be crushed to the ground. The same people who weep over the change they think has come will one-day gnash their teeth at the ‘hope’ they once saw. No politician, no human, can offer hope when they are also in need of hope.  Yet, people continue to place their hope in people and institutions that often cause the darkness that we see in this world. This world is broken.

The one symbol of hope, the one true symbol, has been lambasted and mocked for so long that people have lost sight of its power. We take the Cross of Christ and decorate it in gold, in jewels, wear it around out necks, place it atop our churches, and use it as décor to show the ‘spirituality’ of our homes. We have taken the one hope, the only hope in this world, and made it a punch line and a brand in a marketing scheme. This world is broken.

As Christians, we often hold an “us” verses “them” mentality, an escapist mentality, that Christ will one day come back and kill a lot of people, and we rejoice over such an idea. Though it is true, should we not weep over the fact that fellow image bearers, caught up in their rebellion, will face the wrath of a loving God? Instead, we hang the threat of Hell over people with glee, take delight in the destruction of our enemies, and show little concern for the weary. This world is broken.

This world is weary. Children are suffering from starvation; wives are being infected with HIV by their promiscuous husbands; mothers are suffering through sleepless nights, wondering where their drug-addicted children are; little girls who should be innocent are being sold into the most perverse forms of slavery; husbands are wondering how they can provide for their families during tough economic times; our society is being lied to and being told that true happiness is found in an expensive image; this world is broken!

There is one who can bring hope. There is only one hope in this world and that hope is found in the incarnate Jesus Christ, the love of God demonstrated, that God would come down in human flesh – the Father would offer up the Son – as a sacrifice. Christ died as a ransom for us, to ransom us from the deathly grip of the Devil. Christ was a substitute, to make up for the sins we have committed against the Father and for which we deserve death. Upon the cross, we find hope.

What is this hope? This hope is that our trespasses might be forgiven. That we can stand before a just and holy God and have Him embrace us rather than condemn us. Our hope is that one day the weary may collapse into the arms of Christ, as He says, “Worry not my child, your time on earth is over. You are home now.” This hope is that one day loved ones will never have to say goodbye, children will never go hungry, innocence shall cover us all, and the evils that break this world shall once and for all be smitten by a just and holy God. Upon the cross, we find hope.

Our hope is not limited to the eternal. We hope that God will bring about His kingdom on this earth. We hope that He will give us the strength to help those who suffer through this existence. We hope that He will display His glory in all that we see. We hope in the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ. Upon the cross, we find hope.

We look upon the cross and see the Trinity apart – Jesus Christ, Son of God, forsaken by the Father on our accord. For all eternity, these three have had loving fellowship: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yet the prophet Isaiah tells us that God loves us so much that it pleased Him to crush Christ for our iniquities. Is God sadistic? Or does He love us so much that He knew in Christ’s suffering and death that we could be reconciled to God, and in this He took pleasure? Upon the cross, we find hope.

This is hope; that God sacrificed His Son Christ – a willing sacrifice who was not offered against His will or the will of His Father, but instead as a part of God’s will – as a ransom and substitution for our sins, that we might be reconciled to God. Upon the cross, we find hope.

There is hope for the hopeless. There is rest for the weary. Upon the cross, the sex slave finds a Lover who refuses to use her, but instead dies for Her to show her that she is truly loved. Upon the cross, the wife finds a man who would never lay a hand upon her, but instead would offer up His life so that she might be reconciled to God and know that she will – one day – escape her plight. Upon the cross, we see the death of death, God triumphing over that old enemy so that the widows and widowers will one day be reunited with their loves. Upon the cross, we see God’s hatred for sin and His resolve to destroy it. Upon the cross, we find our salvation from this broken world. Upon the cross, we find the mender of this broken world. Upon the cross, we find hope. 

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2 thoughts on “Upon the cross, we find hope

  1. If only we would all understand the beauty of the cross! That it is God himself who hung there. God who emptied himself for us to be full, was wounded that we might be healed, was killed that we may have life and that more abundantly. If only we could grasp the depth of the sentence “for God so loved the world that he gave…”

    Oh we are but wretches! Even we who brand ourselves theologians and philosophers. How many times have reduced the cross of God to a mere relic of the past. Studying it under the careful scrutiny of a microscope, trying to deduce all the information that would tingle the fancies of our vain mind. How many times have we put God on a table, like a frog in a chemistry lab, we open him up, dissect his internals, know all we can about him, how he functions, how thinks, but at the end of the day leaves him there – a dead frog in the table. Maybe Nietzsche was right, “the last Christian died on the cross…”

    Oh that we would only look back to that beautiful cross. That we would find ourselves at a loss and repent of our ways.

    “Amazing love! How can it be? That thou my God Should’st die for me!”

    Thanks for posting Joel!

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