by J. Randal Matheny
Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and with all the people.
Luke 2:52 NLT
The cross of Christ had significance because the man who hung on it was different from the others. The Romans crucified three men that day. Hardened soldiers crucified thousands of people. But only one man’s suffering brought redemption.
Jesus’ life and death are bound together. Any attempt to diminish his divinity and undermine his uniqueness inevitably removes redemption from the equation of the cross. Some attempt to exalt the nobility of the way Jesus died. But nobility still does not take us into the presence of God.
Only the boy who was in his Father’s house, about his Father’s business, who grew in all ways as the perfect specimen of humanity, only the man who was God in the flesh, could effect the reconciliation between heaven and earth.
The perfect man, that ideal life, was sacrificed in order that the Spirit of God might dwell in our hearts and make us like him.
Without diminishing our need for diligence, zeal and the sweat of our brow, in order to grow in the grace of God, as we polish off our plans and resolutions, we must remember that the crucifixion of Christ remains our power for transformation, our energy for ministry, our means to growth and success.