The cross of Christ did not change
God’s heart toward us;
it revealed God’s heart toward us.
Agree or disagree?
Some verses to consider:
- John 3:16-17: “ 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.”
- Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- 1 John 4:10: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
- Ephesians 2:8-10: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Any counter-texts or points to consider?
This does not mean that the cross is just a demonstration (as in some versions of the moral exemplar theory), or that it doesn’t do or accomplish something or effect a change. It does. It separates the person that God loves from the Sin nature that is a contradiction to that person’s true (God-intended) being, which hence rightfully draws the wrath of God.
I think Luther had it right:““For love’s anger (wrath) seeks and wills to sunder the evil that it hates from the good that it loves, in order that the good and its love may be preserved.” (Quoted in Dennis Ngien, The Suffering of God According to Martin Luther’s Theologia Crucis (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 1995), 107.)