Jesus summarized the Decalogue simply: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And…You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-39). It is a brilliant, comprehensive yet succinct understanding of God’s Moral Law. It is also clear in its inclusion: God, my neighbor, and me. Of course, only the fool questions who God is (Ps. 14:1), and I know who I am, but who is my neighbor? Is my neighbor my friend but not my enemy? Is my neighbor my social or political tribe but not yours? Is my neighbor those I like but not those I dislike or those who dislike me? Who is my neighbor?
The cross of Christ is a foreign concept to the world, meaningless except in its finality, or perhaps curious in its novelty. Jesus of Nazareth died upon a cross. But if the one who died was also the Christ, the Anointed One, in fact the Son of God, then the Roman instrument of suffering and shame became the cross of Christ, an atoning altar for sin. Upon the cross, Jesus died a sinner’s death yet committed no sin. The purpose of his death was not his sin but yours: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).
Despite his sinless perfection, he was falsely accused, illegally tried, and executed on a Roman instrument of tortuous death. Yet, it was his heavenly Father’s will that he die, for in death he took upon himself the just penalty for our sin.
Is divorce a reality in this fallen world? Sadly, it is, and many have scars from it. But divorce is not the ultimate story; the gospel is. And even amidst the painful repercussions of divorce, we can rejoice in the gospel of marriage, because it points us to Christ, who will never leave us or forsake us and who loves us with an eternal, unchanging love.
We are not reconciled to a holy and just God by our ethnicity, family, or good works. But, by God’s grace we believe in the divinely-chosen Servant, the soul-pleasing Beloved, the multi-national justice Preacher, the unbroken bruised Reed, the quenchless smoldering Wick, the justice-delivering Victor, our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord.