He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ (Matthew 27:43)
There is a tendency to romanticize the crucifixion of Christ. Instead of being an emblem of suffering and shame, it is often portrayed as a soft, very palatable portrait. No crucifix can define the horridness of Calvary. If one could define such horror on canvas, it surely would not be hung on a wall or worn around the neck. Even if a visual depiction were possible, the depth and agony could never be captured, not even by the greatest of artists.
When one understands that the crucifixion is far greater than simply a historical event, he or she has come to Christ and has been crucified with Him. There is no beauty in the crucifix, just the horridness of our sin and the unfathomable measure of the love of God for us.
There is, however, a stirred passion and heartfelt victory in the cross. Through the dreadfulness of the crucifix comes the victory of the empty cross, which led to the triumph of an empty tomb. The crucifixion had such an impact on the apostle Paul that he said of it, “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”(1)