Guest / Limited Access /
Getting to the Crux of Calvary
Illustration by Doug Fleener
Getting to the Crux of Calvary

During a coffee break at a conference, I passed by some young pastors who were discussing the Atonement, a topic covered by the speaker at the session we had just attended. One of them said rather forcefully that he seldom mentions the substitutionary work of Christ anymore in his sermons. Instead, he said, he talks about how Christ encountered "the powers" of consumerism, militarism, racism, super-patriotism, and the like.

I fought the temptation to join their chat. But I was troubled by what I had heard. A few hours later, searching for something to listen to on my rental car's radio, I came upon a Christian station airing a recording of a man who was telling the story of his spiritual journey to a group of fellow business folks.

The man recounted a time when he was increasingly successful in his business dealings, while increasingly dissolute in his personal lifestyle: drinking heavily, unfaithful to his wife, distant from his children, his marriage headed toward divorce. His wife and daughters were active in church life, but he never attended.

One Saturday evening, after he had downed several martinis, his 10-year-old daughter pleaded with him to come to church the next morning. Her singing group was going to participate in the service, and she wanted her father there. He reluctantly agreed, something he greatly regretted the next morning when he woke up with a hangover. But he kept his promise.

In that service, he said, he heard for the first time in his life that he was a guilty sinner who needed salvation, and that Jesus had taken his sin and guilt upon himself on the Cross of Calvary. The man wept as he heard the sermon, and he pleaded with God to take away his burden of shame. From that point on, his life took a new ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueMiracles in Mozambique: How Mama Heidi Reaches the Abandoned
Subscriber Access Only
Miracles in Mozambique: How Mama Heidi Reaches the Abandoned
There are credible reports that Heidi Baker heals the deaf and raises the dead. One thing is for sure: She loves the poor like no other in this forgotten corner of the planet.
RecommendedHenri Nouwen’s Weakness Was His Strength
Henri Nouwen’s Weakness Was His Strength
How a gifted, high-achieving spiritual guide learned to share his wounds with others.
TrendingAll 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world’s largest Christian retailers.
Editor's PickMy Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
My Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
But only after I went to Japan in search of his life story.
Christianity Today
Getting to the Crux of Calvary
hide thisMay May

In the Magazine

May 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.