Calvary and the Real World

“I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross… In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in Godforsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in light of his.”

—John Stott, The Cross of Christ (IVP, 1986), pp. 335—336. As quoted in Randy Alcorn, If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil (Multnomah, 2009), p. 217.

3 thoughts on “Calvary and the Real World

  1. As a non-believing pastor’s wife for nearly 20 years, who struggled with huge intellectualy doubts, John Stott’s book and this quote in particular had a huge impact on settling for me the vital-ness of the cross.

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