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The Cross Illuminates God’s Attributes


Many have said that it is a study of the attributes of God that has been most impactful in their spiritual walk. No doubt it is when we, with eyes full of grace, look at God as he presents himself in his revelation that we are truly humbled and God himself is exalted in accordance with true knowledge of him.

I share these same sentiments. Several years ago, I began a home Bible study on the attributes of God. But a funny thing happened to me in this study. In preparing to teach on God’s holiness, I searched for the supreme representation and/or demonstration of divine holiness, and I graciously stumbled upon what appeared to be the power cord that illuminated the divine perfections without rival.

As I studied the attributes of God’s holiness I found the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ to be the supreme demonstration of this eternal perfection of God. The same thing happened as I studied God’s righteousness, his love, his mercy, his wisdom, his sovereignty and so on. This birthed a wonderful study that focused specifically on the attributes of God in light of the cross. God has used this study to change my life and compel worship and awe. The cross of Jesus is indeed the supreme demonstration of the divine attributes.

Consider God’s holiness. Where do we find God distinguished as holy more than through the transcendent requirements and achievement of perfection? Surely the priests in Leviticus knew much of God’s holiness, but they merely looked in a glass dimly, but when we see with spiritual 20/20, we behold the holiness of God in HD. We see holiness incarnate nailed to a wooden tree by the demands of divine holiness that he might make unholy people holy and blameless. Indeed this is magnificent!

Consider also God’s love. You may say you see God loving in creation or through the giving of life, and you are right. However, this pales in comparison to the Son of God, the very object of the Father’s affections, yes even the supreme delight and satisfaction of God, Jesus Christ himself, offered up to redeem rebels. Can you find God’s love more vividly, more beautifully, more heavenly than this?

Consider also God’s righteousness. Oh yes, the inflexible divine attribute that has been plaguing consciences throughout history. God’s righteousness is not seen supremely in the threatenings of the Law or the thunders of Sinai, but rather upon the hill of Calvary. For it is here that we see God’s infinite and unflinching righteousness relentlessly pursuing its vindication in the unleashing of all that is right, good and just upon the substitute for all that is wrong, bad and filthy. Yes, here in the shadow of the cross we see righteousness supremely demonstrated and vindicated. There is nothing like it.

Stand with me in the shadow of the cross and see God’s attributes perfectly illuminated. Tremble at his holiness in the demands of his sacrifice, be convicted and comforted by the unfathomable love that demanded and accomplished Calvary, feel your knees knock as you behold the gasping Son drink dry the eternal vat of condemnation that was due you as he bears all of the burden of divine righteousness.

Stand in the shadow of the cross to learn of God, for it is here where the Son of God was set forth to amplify and supremely demonstrate all of the divine perfections.

Stand here and fall in love with this dangerously lovely God and his supremely beautiful Son. Stand here and marvel. Stand here and worship. Stand here and don’t move, you are right where God wants you.