The cross is not about the satisfaction of an omnipotent vengeance. The cross is about the revelation of divine mercy. In Christ we discover a God who would rather die than kill his enemies. Once we understand that God is revealed in Christ (and not against Christ), we realize what we are seeing when we look at the cross. The cross is where God in Christ absorbs human sin and recycles it into forgiveness. At Golgotha humanity violently sinned its sins into Jesus. Jesus bore these sins all the way down into death and left them there. On the third day Jesus arose without a word of vengeance, speaking only “Peace be with you” on that first Easter. When we look at the cross we see the lengths to which God will go to forgive sin. The cross is both ugly and beautiful. The cross is as ugly as human sin and as beautiful as divine love — but in the end love and beauty win.
— Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, p. 87-88
Photo: South Riding, Virginia, April 27, 2014