Christians actually do not celebrate Easter only once a year, but instead gather to worship Jesus Christ as our risen Lord, Savior, and King every Sunday. In addition to reading Scripture passages about the crucifixion and resurrection leading up to Easter, I have often found it helpful to read good books as well. One year, I read D.A. Carson’s book Scandalous and I highly recommend it. (It’s even on sale right now for $2.99 on Kindle.) This year, I picked up R.C. Sproul’s book, The Truth of the Cross. I have really liked previous books by Sproul and so I was excited to read this one as well…. I was not disappointed.
The book is really an explanation of the gospel with an emphasis on what was accomplished on the cross by Jesus. This is so important today because many people, even so-called Christians, do not believe in justification by faith alone. Sproul says, “It’s not even justification by good works or by a combination of faith and works. The prevailing notion of justification in Western culture today is justification by death. It’s assumed that all one has to do to be received into the everlasting arms of God is to die.”
Scripture teaches that all people are sinners and that we all deserve the wrath of God (Romans 3). This is just. Human beings pay lip-service to justice, but when we are the guilty party we cry out for mercy. God doesn’t ignore sin. God doesn’t avoid sin. God hates sin and He will pour out his wrath on sin. Sproul’s money quote is that we have committed “cosmic treason” against a holy God. Jesus Christ became sin for us on the cross so that we might become the righteousness of God.(2 Corinthians 5:21). That is amazing! Sproul puts it this way: “Christ’s supreme achievement on the cross is that He placated the wrath of God, which would burn against us were we not covered by the sacrifice of Christ.”
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It will help you see sin more clearly, which will help you appreciate the cross more fully, and in turn, you will worship God more fully.