There is a passage in Ephesians that sums up how I feel about the cross. Here it is in the NIV: But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
There was a time when I had no idea who God was. I could not know him because we were separated. There was a wall or veil between us that prevented me from knowing God.
Many preachers and theologians will tell you that what divided me from God was sin. You know doing what I knew I should not be doing. While I agree that sin is an issue that can separate me from God there is something else that separated us that in my mind I never classified as sin.
Selfishness. I lived my life for me and me alone. My days were occupied with the need to feed my desires and create a temporary happiness for myself. This selfishness is what kept me from seeing God for who he really was. I knew him from an evangelical religious point of view, which is to say I knew the right words to say and the right things to do. You would find me offering sacrifices at the altar on Sunday morning, but I never put aside myself. I would say I loved the hurting of the world but instead of helping them I would just go home and watch T.V. or surf the net. As if the creator of the universe can be fooled so easily. He knows when what you say is not what you mean. If you mean what you say you will do what you say. Right? Jesus meant it when he said that he was willing to go to the cross, we know this because he did it.
The cross is the opposite of selfishness. There is no way to look at Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and say he did it for himself. It was all for me and all for you. For God so loved the world...
When I think of the cross and what it means to me I think of how Jesus acted on my behalf without regard for his own comfort or well being. Because of his lack of self care that wall that separated me from God was torn in half and I can now approach him without fear of being cast away.
The cross was my introduction to the creator of the universe.