This is an amazing reflection on the cross from Wm. Paul Young:
Let us be unequivocally clear: there is nothing good about a cross. It was devised as a torture machine to implement the most profound humiliation and abuse. Its purpose was solely to keep a human being alive as long as possible and in as much pain as possible until his very breath (spirit) was violently ripped from his body through excruciating suffocation. The point of eventually breaking the legs was to speed the process so that the executioners could go home to waiting meals and families.
Who originated the Cross?
If God did, then we worship a cosmic abuser, who in Divine Wisdom created a means to torture human beings in the most painful and abhorrent manner. Frankly, it is often this very cruel and monstrous god that the atheist refuses to acknowledge or grant credibility in any sense. And rightly so. Better no god at all, than this one.
The alternative is that the Cross originated with us human beings. This deviant device is the iconic manifestation Of our blind commitment to darkness. It is our ultimate desecration of the goodness and loving intent of God to create, an intent that is focused on the human creation. It is the ultimate fist raised against God.
And how did God respond to this profound brokenness?
God submitted to it. God climbed willingly onto our torture device and met us at the deepest and darkest place of our diabolical imprisonment to our own lies, and by submitting once and for all, God destroyed its power. Jesus is God’s best, given willingly and in opposition to our worst, the Cross.
When did God submit? Not only in Jesus incarnate but before the creation of the world, according to Scriptures (Revelation 13:8). God knew going into the activity of creation what the cost would be. That God’s own children, this highest order of creation, would one day make the final attempt to kill Life.
This is Jesus. God submitting to our torture machine and transforming it into an icon and monument of grace, so precious to us that we wear it on our rings or around our necks. This torture device declares that there is nothing I can bring to the table that is so evil or broken that God won’t climb into it with me. There is nothing so dead that God is incapable of growing in it something living. The Cross, once our greatest attempt at destroying Life, has become our most precious symbol of the God who is hope for us all.