The cross of Jesus Christ was not something that frustrated God’s
plan but served as the ultimate fulfillment of His plan. For who was it that
ultimately delivered Jesus to die?
Not Judas for money, not Pilate for fear, not the Jews for envy, but the Father for love. The Apostle Peter preaching at Pentecost says, “This Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. (Acts 2:22)
The old spiritual calls us to reflect on the question: “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” “Yes, we were there. Not as spectators only but as participants, guilty participants, plotting, scheming, betraying, bargaining, and handing him over to be crucified…There is blood on our hands.
Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us (leading us to
faith and worship), we have to see it as something done by us (leading us to
repentance). Only the one who is prepared to own his share in the guilt of
the cross may claim his share in its grace.” (John Stott, The Cross of Christ,
As we prepare to celebrate Reformation Sunday, let us heed John Stott’s counsel which I have adapted below:
Own our share in the guilt of the cross by regularly repenting of our sin and remembering how profound our need. of God’s continual supply of grace. Also, let us claim our share in its grace by continually preaching the gospel to our hearts! One will keep us humble. The other will make us bold.