by Olden Cook
The cross was a two-sided structure. It was both ugly and beautiful. It was ugly because our sins were hanging there in the personage of Jesus … it was beautiful because it was our Savior hanging there, dying for our sins. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:4). It was ugly in that it meant horrible suffering for the Son of God, suffering beyond our wildest imagination … it was beautiful because it portrayed in the most graphic way the love and grace of God extended to us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16,17).
As Jesus was lifted up on the cross atop the hill of Calvary, God was reaching down to the valley of our despair and hopelessness. It was the nature of the event taking place there that made it both ugly and beautiful at the same time: ugly in that it was sin — the sin of those who physically perpetrated the act, your sins, my sins — that nailed Him there … but beautiful in what it did for us!
The beauty and ugliness of the cross.