The Story of the Cross

Ephesians 3:18-19, [May God grant you] strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the  breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

What is the breadth, length, height, and depth of Christ’s love? Imagine a King sitting on his throne. This King’s kingdom is massive. But his kingdom has fallen into disarray. His people have rejected him as their King and are rebelling against him. He’s always loved his people, and they lived free of evil. But then one came along and convinced the people to question the King’s goodness. He convinced them they all could be kings like their one King, but the King was keeping this from them. So, the people rebelled and have fallen into ruin. They make themselves kings and queens, disrupting the King’s order and attempting to rule over others. The King has every right to destroy them entirely and build a new kingdom.

Instead, he decided to step down from his throne, walk and live among the people for a few decades, and then die for them. The people even demanded his death. But then three days later, the miracle of all miracles happened—the King rose from the dead. After he showed himself to the people he spent so many years with, the King returned to his throne. Instead of restoring the kingdom through destruction and the death of his people, instead he restored his kingdom through his death and is continuing to restore it as more are returning to him and believing in his rule and reign. Eventually, a time will come when the King will step down from his throne again to destroy the one who deceived his kingdom along with the enemies of his people, finishing the full restoration of his kingdom.

Is that story unbelievable? Is it ridiculous? It should be; that is what Christ has done for us. 

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God… For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe… but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles… For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:18, 21, 23, 25).

The story of Christ crucified—as ludicrous as it might sound—is the breadth, length, height, and depth of His love for us. Can we Americans imagine our President laying down his life for us in order to save us from our greatest enemy? We cannot. It is unthinkable to us, even ludicrous. Yet that is precisely what Christ has done for us.

Thus, Paul prays that God may strengthen the Ephesians to fathom the ineffable and immeasurable angles of Christ’s love for us—the humility He suffered to step down from His almighty throne, to become human, to walk among us in our filth and misery, and finally to die in our place. May God also strengthen us to fathom this and to always be in reverent awe of the depths of Christ’s love for us.

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