The Most Horrible and Beautiful Example of God’s Wrath “For Us”

Chris —  March 2, 2014

Ash Wednesday is this Wednesday. Whether or not you are observing Lent, we should strive to be more cross-centered as we anticipate Holy Week. Earlier today, I gave seven reasons to read Andreas Kostenberger and Justin Taylor’s The Final Week of Jesus. Below is a quote by R.C. Sproul which summarizes much of what I said in my sermon this morning about the beauty of the cross.

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 on Himself the sins of the world. . . Yet it was done for 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

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3 responses to The Most Horrible and Beautiful Example of God’s Wrath “For Us”

  1. Great quote from Sproul. At the risk of sounding bogus, I think we would be remiss to ever mention the atonement and not use the word love. After all, the most oft-quotes verse in recent memory, John 3:16 tells us that it was the love of God that iniated, carried out, and saw to completion the entire work of Jesus to bring redemption, including of course specifically the sacrifice of atonement on the cross.

  2. I generally agree. Discussions of atonement should always include “love.” R.C. certainly stresses it – – – I just lifted one paragraph and didn’t include the larger context.

    In a sermon a couple of weeks ago, I spent a great deal of time stressing that the love of God and the wrath of God are not incompatible & worked with both John 3:16 and the end of John 3.

  3. Absolutely. The justice of God flows from His love: love for himself, love for the goodness of His creation. Anything that corrupts and stands against what He loves must be removed. Wrath flows from His justice in that as He stands over creation, He will uphold (judgment of acquittal) that which aligns with Himself and His purposes, and He will condemn (judgment of guilt resulting in wrath) that which stands against. In our context, aligning with God and His purposes is to be in Jesus, the crucified, risen, and reigning Messiah. To be in Jesus is to be judged not guilty now (present justification) and judged not guilty on the eschatological day of judgment.