From David Platt:
“Your only hope for joy, and your only hope for peace, and your only hope for comfort, and your only hope for love, and your only hope for strength in life is found in the cross of Jesus Christ. Your only hope in life is found in the brutal, bloody, humiliating, horrifying death of a naked man on a wooden post.
So feel the horror here. We wear crosses around our necks as jewelry, and we put them up on the walls in our homes, but you did not do that in the first century. But this is even worse, because cross crucifixion was the most brutal, torturous, shameful, gruesome way to kill someone, reserved for barbarians and slaves.
And lets admit, this is absurd to Americans. Take the successful American businessman with a nice job and a big house and a cool car. And take the free-thinking American woman who thrives on her independance from everything, including God. Take them both outside to a city dump, where in a back alley, a naked man is hanging by nails on a tree, covered in blood. And you tell that man and that woman, ‘Your only hope in life is believing that this man is God, and your eternity is dependant on submitting to him as your Judge, your Master, and your Lord.’ That man and that woman will laugh, roll their eyes, at most, feel sorry for this man in his deranged condition, and walk away.
Why do so many people in the world look at the cross and see folly, while you and I look at the cross and see forgiveness? You see power in the cross of Christ only because of the mercy of God who has called your name.”
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
– Titus 3:4-7
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us — for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’ — so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
– Galatians 3:13-14