But, these days, many people would prefer a God without a cross. Here is the contemporary thinking. Why couldn’t God just forgive and forget? Why can’t God just accept everyone who says they’re sorry and move on? Why not just say we believe in a loving God and a forgiving God – good enough? Who needs a cross anyway?
One reason we need a cross is because forgiveness is always costly. Especially when the stakes are high, especially when the evil is great; to forgive is always costly. Dietrich Bonheoffer, the great Christian leader who was imprisoned and ultimately killed in Nazi German Concentration Camp, put it this way, “Everyone who forgives someone bears the other’s sins.” And we know this from life. When we choose to forgive, it always means absorbing the debt ourselves. It is a form of suffering.
Simply overlooking sin was not an option. Especially when you consider the massive evil of the world. But instead of making us pay, God bore the suffering Himself! The cross is a forever reminder that forgiveness is costly. But God paid the price we could never pay.
That is why I cling to the cross.