At the Cross, we see God's justice through the judgment of sin, God's love through the forgiveness of sinners, God's power through his defeat of Satan, and God's wisdom in his upholding of holiness yet making a way for sinners. Christ's death is the ultimate, "Thus sayeth the Lord." It reveals the glorious harmony of God's multifaceted character. The Cross is the crossroads of everything we know about God.
Jeremy Treat, Pastor and Author
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us[a] for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known[b] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
Note how God’s glory is most fully, finally and forever displayed in the cross of Christ:
- God is love and compassion. “for God so loved the world that He gave is only begotten Son“ (John 3:16)
- God is holy and just. “for the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23)
- God is gracious and merciful. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
- God is Sovereign King. “Kings and rulers gathered against Your anointed…to do only that which You predestined to occur.” (Acts 4:26-28)
The cross of Christ was not God’s “Plan B” in light of the fall. From before the foundation of the world God decreed that His glory would be fully and forever displayed. (Ephesians 1:3-12). That required the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. That required a redeemed humanity and creation. In the cross of Jesus, God takes what Satan meant for evil—the destruction of all that God created and putting himself on the throne of glory—and He uses it for good. Grace becomes the oxygen of life, forgiveness demonstrates the extent of God’s love, mercy rolls over everything in its path, and God’s Only Son takes center stage.
At the cross, death secures life that never ends. At the cross, God’s glory is unleashed. At the cross, we see that God is the God who overcomes all suffering, by suffering Himself “to the praise of His glorious grace.”
If God is glorified in the cross, then it must mean He will be glorified even in the midst of this global pandemic. We will explore how in our last three days.
Use the four points above about glory and the cross to guide you in your prayer today. Declare the “praise of God’s glory” as shown in the cross of Jesus. Your prayer may sound something like this…
God, when I consider the cross of Jesus, your love and compassion become even more concrete and evident because…
At the cross, your holiness and justice…
At the cross, your grace and mercy…
At the cross, your Sovereign rule over all…
And I pray all of this to the praise of your Glory, Your glory most fully demonstrated in the life, death, resurrection…and exaltation of Your Son Jesus. Amen.
Before closing this devotion, take a moment and bring to mind one thing—at this moment—that you are thankful for. And thank God for it.