When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

March 29, 2013

I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. The only God I believe in is the one Nietzsche ridiculed as “God on the Cross.” In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples and stood respectfully before the statue of Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of this world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from the thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in God-forsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered into our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us.

~ John Stott

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