... I learn.
I learn about sin and the horrors thereof. I learn that my sin is that bad. So terrible that it required His LIFE. You know how people say if you were the only one in the world Jesus would have died for you? Sounds nice--until you realize that your sin is SO horrible that He would have still needed to endure all of that for just your sin.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
I learn about real love. I learn that love is totally, almost horrifically, unselfish. That the opposite of love is not hate, it is selfishness. Because God hates. He hates sin. And if He is love, then the opposite of hate must not be love. It's impossible. And when you think about what love is... it becomes very plain.
Love. . . does not parade itself, is not puffed up; . . . does not seek its own, . . .1 Corinthians 13
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.1 John 4:10
I learn about humility. I learn that God--Creator of the universe, the King of kings, the One who was and is and is to come--humbled Himself. How much more, then, should I--a sinful creation--be willing to be humbled.
...but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:8-9
I learn about forgiveness. If He can forgive us--the ones who called for His death, the ones who did it, the ones who... made it necessary in the first place... if He can forgive me, surely I can forgive my siblings and my parents [Insert my younger brother coming over and begging me repeatedly to play a game and getting in my face. Yes, God has sense of humor.] and friends when they do silly little things that annoy me or hurt me a little.
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34
I learn about sacrifice. About giving up good things--Jesus' position in heaven certainly was a good thing!--for the greater Good. Namely, God's glory.
This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. . . . John 21:19
I learn about obedience. About submission. About wholly giving yourself to God's plan and will.
For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” John 12:49-50
I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. John 5:30
I learn about... dying. I learn about how what seems like The End--what seems like a horrible tragedy--what seems like defeat--can end up being the greatest triumph.
I learn about God's "weakness". I learn that He is so strong, that even in the weakest possible looking way--as a human, suffering a criminal's death, at the mercy of sinners, naked, bleeding--dead--He can conquer sin and death and Satan.
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 1:25
I learn about how different God's ways are from ours. We wouldn't have done it like that!! Just face it. We would've had Jesus calling down all those angels and obliterating His enemies. Oh, but how wrong we would have been...
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. Isaiah 55:8
. . .and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Matthew 27:40
But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” Matthew 26:52-54
I learn about... God. I learn about who He is. His love. His mercy. His compassion. His justice. His plans. His glory. His power. His beauty. Who He is.
Oh, the things I learn when I survey that wondrous cross!