In doing research for a talk I’m going to give in November, I ran across this sentence by John Stott:
“The reason why many people give the wrong answers to questions about the cross, and even ask the wrong questions, is that they have carefully considered neither the seriousness of sin nor the majesty of God.”
John Stott – The Cross of Christ
Worse yet, the culture around me is losing its ability to recognize sin at all. It is one thing to fail to recognize the seriousness of sin, it is another entirely to be unable or unwilling to declare any behavior to be sin at all.
I have heard it said that an alcoholic has to hit rock bottom before he recognizes that he has a problem. Perhaps it is also true with all sin. If we are more or less functioning from day to day, perhaps we can explain away our selfishness, pride, impiety or sexual impurity. After all, to be caught up in this things is common to humanity.
It is true that I am no different from the rest of humanity, but that does not make my sin acceptable in my eyes or in God’s eyes which leads to the second of Stott’s assertions.
If we fail to take the majesty and holiness of God seriously, we will also end up in error. While God is described all through the Bible as being slow to anger and abounding in mercy, he is also described as being infinitely holy and unable to look favorably on sin.
God is not a big buddy in the sky. He will not wink at you while you disobey God’s laws or man’s laws.
So stop for a minute and contemplate the chasm that lies between man in his sin and an infinitely holy God. Even a short meditation on this will bring a much better understanding of the Cross and why Jesus had to die.