The God of the Cross // A Spoken Word
The God of the Cross.
A reflection on Isaiah 52:13-15 and Isaiah 53:1-12
When I say “this God does not know me, my suffering!”
I speak with the knowledge of an infant
Railing against the absence of the parent preparing life-giving milk.
My pain twists inside me, a serpent of deception,
Turning my eyes from this God,
Stealing my perception,
Making me blind to the character of this God.
This God, EL OLAM, the everlasting God, (Genesis 21:33)
Triune Creator of heaven and earth.
This God, YAHWEH, the Uncreated One, who was, who is, who evermore
Out of the formless darkness YAHWEH spoke light and there was light!
Separating the day from the night.
Every seed bearing plant, every fruit bearing tree display the signature of
Every creature of the sky, and sea, every animal that walks upon the earth
are marked for HIM.
YAHWEH formed man from dust, breathed the breath of life into us!
The heavens declare the glory of ELOHIM, the Father, the Son and the
Holy Spirit. (Psalm 19:1)
This God, ADONAI, LORD, Master, Overseer,
YAHWEH ROHI who shepherds His chosen people. (Psalm 23:1)
This God, YAHWEH JIREH, Provider, the author of my salvation! (Genesis
EL SHADDAI, He under whose wings I dwell in the shadow of the Almighty
God! (Psalm 91:1)
This God, YAHWEH SHALOM, bringer of peace to a people who did not
deserve it (Judges 6:24)
This God-man, EL-YESHUATI, the God of my salvation (Isaiah 21:2)
Who did not think God-glory a thing to be grasped, (Philippians 2:6)
But humbled Himself to be born a man, in a dung-filled stable,
Lived the plain life of a modest carpenter.
He was not tall, not fair of skin or face, nothing striking to behold.
His stride was not majestic, His feet did not rest on a manmade throne.
Three decades of humility, crowned with three years of mission.
Punctuated by a conclusion of deep suffering.
Knelt in Gethsemane’s garden, blood pulled from His pores by the agony of
the pain to come.
The anguish of foreknowledge,
The pain of humiliation,
The knowledge of rejection.
Not just the disgrace of being stripped, whipped,
By the very ones He came to set free from the bondage of sin.
Spikes pounded into flesh and bone,
Pain ripping though His body
As sorrow ran through His heart
For this lost and broken people.
The smart of the whip across His cheek,
Smattered with the hatred in the eyes of the one who wielded the whip.
The sting of the thorns as they dug into His head,
Peppered with the spite in the force of the arms that held Him down.
Not one word was spoken in His defence.
He held his tongue, when a host of heavenly beings could have sung His
Yet, the greatest pain was still to come.
Hung on a tree,
Arms outstretched in submission to His Father’s will,
Head hung low as the sky covered its face in shame,
Surrounded by a teeming cesspool of human fallen-ness,
Insults hurled with venomous force, carried on a volley of spit.
As humanity itself murdered it’s only HOPE.
The greatest pain was still to come.
As noon struck, the God-man cried, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
In that moment,
Heaped with the sin of humanity,
Bearing all our inequities,
THE FATHER TURNED HIS FACE AWAY.
The Holiness of the Father turned from the sin-covered Son.
Cut off from the love of His Father.
Isolated, ripped away.
The greatest pain.
The separation of self from self.
The tearing apart of righteousness.
In that moment, the temple curtained was cleaved in two,
Top to bottom, it was split!
The cherubim stood aside,
Obliterating the divide between God and man!
What great love is this?
That would give up the Heart’s most treasured Love for creatures so
What is this God-man,
That He would give it all for contemptible mortals?
What is this Father,
Who chose separation from His most precious Son for pitiful beings,
Crushing Him, bringing immeasurable suffering in the division of sin?
No mind can comprehend,
No heart can perceive,
The love of this Triune God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
He was allotted a grave with the depraved,
Dying a sinner’s death
Though there was no sin in Him.
In death His body lay with the rich,
Thought never to be seen again.
The LORD has been shut up in the tomb.
Mourn this dark Friday,
Mourn for the sin that held my King to a cross,
Mourn for me,
I nailed him to it.
Mourn for yourself,
You placed a mocking crown of thorns on His head.
Mourn for my brother,
He whipped my LORD.
Mourn for my sister,
She jeered from the crowd and spit in His face.
Mourn this dark Friday,
Feel the weight of sin.
Splayed like a downed bird, once soaring on the winds of self-glorification,
Covered in the dark flush of sin as it gushes from the wound of conviction!
Like sheep, we strayed from the Shepherd.
In His great mercy
He sacrificed the spotless LAMB
As an offering for our sin.
Crimson water washes me
Gushing from the cross of Calvary.
Like healing balm, it runs down my brow,
Like a tree planted by streams of living water, my thirst is sated. (Psalm 1:3)
Feel the agony of Perfection hung on a cross,
Fixed to it for imperfection’s sake.
My LORD, He hung.
He hung for me.
He hung for you.
His love for us locked Him to that tree!
Sink down to your knees
As you perceive
What true love looks like:
A GOD-MAN who would die for you!
An end to a life so brief.
A conclusion that should not be.
No happy ending as the sun sets this dark Friday,
As I hang my head in shame for my sin that secured my LORD to mockery,
To a grief so deep it broke the Father’s heart.
I am guilty.
You are guilty.
Convicted by the only righteous JUDGE, God the FATHER.
The testimony of my depravity
Hangs on a cross, for all to see.
I am undone…
We… are ruined….
But hold yourself back from sinking to the depths of despair.
The task is not yet accomplished.
Mourn this dark Friday, my Saviour is gone.
But hold this in the depths of your heart,
Where the glimmer of hope shines bright!
Sunday is coming!