Answering the Abuse Charge at the Cross

The cross has always held offence to some who have not embraced it. Typical objections hold it to be bloodthirsty, medieval or filled with too much "Old Testament" wrath.These attitudes are often contradictory though.

Imagine the situation. A small squad of soldiers are pinned down in a small stone building. Shots are being exchanged with enemy troops through the small Windows. There is no escape out the door at the moment because it is currently in the sights of an enemy sniper. Reinforcements have arrived, but there is no way out until they have pushed the enemy back. Suddenly there is a clatter against the wall and floor. Someone has crept close enough and thrown a hand grenade through the window. In a few seconds it will explode in the confined space of the room. Immediately one of the soldiers throw himself onto the grenade and it explodes beneath him. Maybe he is killed, certainly he is seriously injured.

This particular story is fiction. But there have been versions of it played out for real by soldiers from many nations in wars around the world. If you search the archives, or even Google, there is probably a soldier from your nation who has risked our given his life in a similar way. How are they remembered our welcomed home? Do people talk about them as abusers. Do they say "What a horrific person. How could they do that to themselves?" Surely even those who are committed pacifists, or who just don't believe in that particular war, would recognise the heroism of the soldier in that action.

Suppose a scientist invented a machine to rid the world of cancer. The only drawback was that it would put the cancer into the operator of the machine. The scientist decides that there is no other way so he operates the.machine. The rest of the world is freed from cancer but the scientist dies as he receives every form of it himself.

This is a science fiction tale. But what would your reaction be? Would you say "How selfish of that scientist?" You might ask if the wasn't another way, but you wouldn't rail against him as if he was some sort of a child abuser. Yet this is the objection some raise against God for throwing himself onto the cross and for taking the cancer of sin upon himself and suffering the results instead of us. They focus on God giving His son to die and either miss the fact, or choose to ignore it, that the Father and the Son are the same being (See John 10: 30-33 for example.). God did not pick someone at random, nor did he have a separate, independent child (Remember that Jesus had lived thirty three years on the earth. Just because he was a son doesn't mean he was still a child.) just to be a sacrifice "to make himself happy because he loves the sight of blood and pain" as some like to mischaracterise him. He Himself became a human being so that he could "take the bullet for us." The real offense of this is that it hits at our pride.