Email Articles

Forever Changing My View of the Cross

When most of us see “John 3:16” on a sign at a sporting event, we know the exact words that are being referred to: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” What many of us also know, is that there are plenty of people, ourselves included, that struggle with the idea of a loving, benevolent Father sending his Son into the world, knowing that he’d experience death on a cross. What I’d like to share with you is a convergence of Church teaching that, when considered together, forever changed my view of the sacrifice of the cross.

1. The Nicene Creed reminds us that we believe in “one God.” That God is referred to as the “Most Holy Trinity,” with three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in the one, indivisible, divine nature.

2. That being said, our practice of referring to one or more Persons of the Trinity might be common, but it doesn’t change the fact that God is One. As I said before, we don’t believe in three separate gods. Think of it, we refer to Jesus as being “fully human and fully divine.” That divinity is the divinity of the Triune God, so whether we think of it, or not, all three Persons of the Trinity are always united – always present together, even on the cross.

3. When recognizing that all three Persons of the Trinity were present on the cross, we can see that Jesus’ incarnation wasn’t the act of a nasty parent’s desire to see their child ultimately suffer. Instead, the incarnation, and the cross, can (and should) be understood to be an act of loving self-sacrifice, by God- Father, Son, and Spirit.

God is Love, and God’s love for us can be seen as we look to Jesus’ arms, spread wide, on the cross.