The pain and shame of the cross…

Spent this evening trying to explain what Jesus Christ went through on the cross to the young people at the church youth club this evening. At one level they understood the horror of being physically nailed to a wooden cross, with all the implications of pain and eventual asphixiation. I’m not sure any of them remotely understood the other level of Jesus Christ taking on the sins of the elect and the punishment for their sin, even though he himself was without sin (as described in Isaiah 53). Even considering how, because God is holy and demands justice, every sinner is deserving of hell. I guess the popular theology of the world doesn’t have sin and hell in its vocabulary and I was assuming too much. Maybe I just didn’t explain it adequately enough…Yet when I think how wonderful and amazing is the whole account, in the Bible, of God becoming a man, living as a man, being tempted as a man, yet living perfectly as no man had ever done and ultimately taking on the sins of all who believe. I cannot even consider that I would keep this to myself, but that I must endeavour to explain this to a world in need of salvation as best I can, yet relying on God to use my inadequate words for his glory. I guess in the end, I don’t know what goes on in the minds of those around me, it’s between them and God.
In the words of Charles Wesley…

O that the world might taste and see
The riches of His grace!
The arms of love that compass me
Would all mankind embrace.

His only righteousness I show,
His saving grace proclaim;
‘Tis all my business here below
To cry “Behold the Lamb!”

Oh that the world (including the young people) might taste and see…

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