But we live with more than pain and suffering. We also live with deep hungers within the human heart. These existentially gnaw at us with a desperate constancy. There are at least four such longings.
1. The hunger for truth, as lies proliferate.
2. The hunger for love, as we see hate ruling the day.
3. The hunger for justice, as we see injustice mocking the law.
4. The hunger for forgiveness, when we ourselves fail and stumble.
These four stirrings grip the soul. As I see it, there is only one place in the world where these four hungers converge. That is at the cross. I dare say, therefore, that in this mix of pain and longing the divine answer is restoring and sublime. For within the paradox of the cross is the coalescing of our need and God’s provision.
I would go so far as to say that until we see the price God paid for our peace in His own Son, we will be paying with our sons’ and daughters’ lives on the battlefields of our hates and brutalities, only to find peace ever eluding us.
Never has it been more obvious that this world needs redemption, and that redemption is costly. The cross more than ever, in our language and in our longings, is necessary to bridge the divide between God and us. Without the cross the chasm that separates us all from truth, love, justice and forgiveness can never be crossed. The depths of mystery and love found in the cross can never be fully plumbed, but it must be the lifelong pursuit of the Christian to marvel at its costliness and to celebrate its meaning.