What “great gulf” did the cross really bridge?

The cross was never meant to bridge a great gulf between us and God, because no such gulf exists. It never has existed. God has never created an unbridgeable gap between himself and humanity, no matter how much we have rejected him. That’s clearly stated in Romans 5:20, which says, “where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” It does not say, “Where sin increased, God’s wrath against us increased all the more,” or “Where sin increased, the gulf between us and God got bigger.”

Instead, verse 8, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  So all during the time we wanted nothing to do with God, God never separated himself from us. The idea, then, that the cross spans the gulf between us and God so that God can forgive us and not be angry at us anymore, is total nonsense, because God has never stopped loving us.

So why the need for the cross, then? Because there IS a gulf the cross bridges. It’s the gulf between what God created us to be and what we’ve become instead. God created us to be his children, so that we could live each day knowing God loves us regardless of anything we do or don’t do, and nothing separates us from his love. But how many humans live their lives actually believing that?

None do, or none did, according to Paul, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Fell short of WHAT “glory,” though? The glory of who he is – our Father, and the glory of who we are to him – his children. And because we fell short of that realization in our ignorance and unbelief, we ended up living our lives in fear of God, or in deliberate detachment from him. And that’s the great gulf God bridged by the cross, to move us from not believing God loves us, to realizing there is nothing that we think, say or do that stops him loving us. We are his children, for heaven’s sake.

The cross didn’t make it possible FOR God to love us, it showed us how impossible it is for God NOT to love us – the proof being that God was willing to sacrifice himself for our sakes even when we were sinners. He loved us even when we ignored and hated him. That’s why Jesus went to the cross with joy (Hebrews 12:2), because he knew there would never be reason again for us humans to believe God doesn’t love us. God died for us because he loves us. What more do we need to know?

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