The Cross Is Not Fair

The Cross Is Not Fair

Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community by Brett McCracken

Together Empty Church is embracing the uncomfortable. Join us as we dig into Brett McCracken's new book Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community and uncover all the parts that make us uneasy about our faith, uneasy about being friends, and uneasy about building a church that realizes that comfort is not the goal of Christiantiy.

The Cross isn't fair.

It doesn’t make sense. 

And that's how God works.

We say that God is just and I agree with that, but God’s idea of justice is much different from ours. On one hand, all sin is an offense against God and then on the other grace and mercy extended by the Cross. That’s why the Cross isn’t fair. The Cross represents not getting what one deserves. Jesus was the one person who doesn’t deserve death but was sacrificed for our sins, so we don't get what we deserve. 

When we are children we are taught about what is “fair.” We are told to share our toys and split the snacks. But a famous quote of children is “That’s not fair.” We place such an emphasis on making things equal or fair, but they soon find out that life isn’t fair and yet our whole lives we still have this expectation of some fairness. Well, not really fairness. We want others to get what “they deserve” but we want mercy.

Really the Cross both represents everything we want and everything we hate. It shows us that mercy we so selfishly want but also extends it to people we don’t want to receive it. It represents our loss of selfishness. We don’t like giving things up. Even the things that hurt us we hold onto as if we are going to miss out on something. I certainly do that all the time. “Maybe as soon as I give it up, it would have been the thing I was hoping for.” As soon as we realize that there is something to give up we suddenly have a “don’t touch that” complex where that is all we can think about doing. We just want to touch it or press the button.

What’s your line?

What is most crazy about all this is that somehow we have made the Cross something that isn’t uncomfortable. We read Paul saying that there is no salvation without the resurrection and skip the why Jesus had to be resurrected part. 

There's an old Michael W. Smith song “Cross of Gold” that hits on the topic of the cross just being a fashion statement versus being so much more. I wouldn’t say that the song reaches the level of uncomfortableness that the Cross truly brings but he certainly was onto something when he posed this question in the song:

What’s your line
Tell me why you wear your cross of gold
— "Cross of Gold"- Michael W. Smith

The Cross as jewelry represents how we have made the Cross comfortable. I’m sure the first people to have Crosses had them as reminders and representations of picking up the Cross every day and a Cross could still mean that for someone, but I would be comfortable making the generalization that the vast majority do not wear them for that reason. The Cross is made comfortable. 

Cheap grace is taking the comfortable cross and making it “fair.” Everyone must be saved if anyone can be saved since God loves everyone. This forgets that the Cross was not “fair” for anyone and continues to not be fair. 

I can’t fathom or explain how the cross works or why God chose it as His method for bringing us back to Him. I can’t explain why the Cross does not save all. That’s not fair, right? Yet, the Bible is clear that though God desires all to be saved, not all will be. That is uncomfortable.

About the Author | Sean Kready
An imperfect Christian, who sins on the daily, but tries to share his journey so that we all might know God better. This is our offering. An act of worship.

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