Stagger at the Cross

The false conflict between the two testaments may be seen in the most

brutal act of divine vengeance ever recorded in Scripture. It is found

not in the Old Testament but in the New Testament. The most violent

expression of God’s wrath and justice is seen in the cross. If ever a

person had room to complain of injustice it was Jesus. He was the only

innocent man ever to be punished by God. If we stagger at the wrath

of God, let us stagger at the cross. Here is where our astonishment

should be focused. If we have cause for moral outrage, let it be directed

at Golgotha.

The cross was at once the most horrible and the most beautiful

example of God’s wrath. It was the most just and the most gracious

act in history. God would have been more than unjust, He would have

been diabolical to punish Jesus if Jesus had not first willingly taken

upon Himself the sins of the world. Once Christ had done that, once

He volunteered to be the Lamb of God, laden with our sin, then He

became the most grotesque and vile thing on this planet. With the

concentrated load of sin He carried, He became utterly repugnant

to the Father. God poured out His wrath on this obscene thing. God

made Christ accursed for the sin He bore. Herein was God’s holy

justice perfectly manifest. Yet it was done for us. He took what justice

demanded from us. This “for us” aspect of the cross is what displays

the majesty of its grace. At the same time justice and grace, wrath and

mercy. It is too astonishing to fathom (p. 158).


–R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God.


About Daniel Mason

I write from the historic protestant worldview, that is, Reformed. I hope you will be both blessed and challenged by my writings. View all posts by Daniel Mason

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