Essence of Atonement

I wonder what made humans hate the Son of God so much that they wanted Him to die the most agonizing and excruciating death of all--the death of the cross. In fact, the word "excruciating" itself comes from the word "crux" (cross) depicting the intensity and indescribability of the agony. But, the essence of atonement doesn't lie in humans crucifying the Son of God; it lies in the Son of God allowing humans to crucify Him. He allowed humans to do it to Him and in that moment of self-giving, He became our Sacrifice, our Peace. They killed Him not; but, He gave Himself for us. Therefore, He could pray "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." By crucifying the Son of God, mankind had committed the greatest of all crimes; by allowing them to crucify Him despite having all power to crush them forever, Christ demonstrated the greatest of love: the love that embraces hatred, and by embracing it nullifies and vanquishes it forever. Therefore, His love endures for ever. The One, who alone is worthy to condemn us, died for us in order to rise again for our justification.

By condemning the Son of God, the human rulers declared Him as their enemy; therefore, the cross is also the finality of enmity between God and the world (that knows Him not). Therefore, also it is the end of
enmity between God and those who receive Him, and as many as have received Him have received the right to be called the children of God (Jn.1:12).


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