The following is a transcript of a live interview with Brad Jersak by Greg Albrecht on the meaning of the Cross
Greg Albrecht: Hello everyone, this is Greg Albrecht. We're going to remember and discuss our Lord's ultimate sacrifice for us and reflect on his life, death, burial and of course the significance and meaning of his resurrection. Helping us with his insights and observations is Brad Jersak. Brad is Senior Editor of our magazines and a Christ-centered professor, speaker and author from Abbotsford, British Columbia.
Brad, in one sense it seems to me that these two events, the crucifixion and the resurrection, are the crowning jewels in God's demonstration and revelation of his love for us. When I think of the resurrection specifically, I often think of it as the fulfillment of the new covenant. Jesus didn't come simply to make a new covenant with us, he came to be the new covenant. We might think of his resurrection as the final act in the life of Christ, the final part of his three-part revelation— his death, burial and resurrection. And this three-part revelation is a dynamic illustration of God's love, his very own nature.
Brad, would you begin by talking about Good Friday, giving us some background about the cross of Christ and its relevance and significance to and for us in the light of the resurrection?
BJ: First of all, let's focus on the fact that the cross, and specifically the way Jesus experienced the cross and what he did on the cross, is a revelation of God. What you just said is right on—the cross reveals the central nature of God. That's such a good way to phrase it. In Christ God demonstrated his unsurpassable love. When we look at Christ on the cross, we are looking at God in the flesh. It's very important where we locate God on Good Friday. As we know, there are many within Christianity who virtually picture the Father punishing Jesus, crucifying Jesus, or being appeased by the torture and death of his Son.
But Paul tells us that God was in Christ on the cross reconciling the world to himself (Colossians 1:19-20). So if you want to find or locate God on Good Friday, he's on a cross. God is the Word made flesh even when that flesh was being wounded and pierced and crucified.
So when we look at Christ on the cross we're seeing something central to the very nature of God, and you've alluded to it already. What is it we find out about God when we look at the cross? We do not see that he was angry and had to get his wrath off his chest. No, rather we see self-giving grace, we see sacrificial love and we see radical forgiveness.