Brennan Manning writes that we can make the mistake of turning salvation into a process or transaction when the cross itself is God’s ultimate act of love for us. The cross tells us just how deeply God loves us.
As I’ve read the works of contemplative Christians, I’ve noticed that many of them had their most profound revelations while meditating on the cross. It’s on the cross that God demonstrated his commitment to saving us through a different kind of power that doesn’t resort to force or degrading others. The cross tells us just how far God’s love will go for us.
The cross tells us that God saw a violent, self-centered people and still preferred to sacrifice himself at the mercy of our religious and political institutions rather than demanding the love and honor that is his due.
We are continuing our feature of Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel this month where he reflects on the love of God and the meaning of the cross:
“We need a new kind of relationship with the Father that drives out fear and mistrust and anxiety and guilt, that permits us to be hopeful and joyous, trusting and compassionate…
The gospel of grace calls us to sing of the everyday mystery of intimacy with God instead of always seeking for miracles or visions. It calls us to sing of the spiritual roots of such commonplace experiences as falling in love, telling the truth, raising a child, teaching a class, forgiving each other after we have hurt each other, standing together in the bad weather of life, of surprise and sexuality, and the radiance of existence.” Page 77-78
“In his monumental work The Crucified God, Jürgen Moltmann writes, ‘We have made the bitterness of the cross, the revelation of God in the cross of Jesus Christ, tolerable to ourselves by learning to understand it as a necessity for the process of salvation.’” Page 108
“Do you really accept the message that God is head over heels in love with you? I believe that this question is at the core of our ability to mature and grow spiritually. If in our hearts we really don’t believe that God loves us as we are, if we are still tainted by the lie that we can do something to make God love us more, we are rejecting the message of the cross.” Page 165
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