Here's an excerpt from the very end of my article, Cherish Grace. You can read all of it on Boundless. Happy Easter to you and your loved ones!
"Save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!"
Well, what if He had? What if Jesus had actually come down from that cross? What if He looked out at sinful humanity and shrugged off the plan of redemption for our sorry souls? That angry crowd was staring at the only way they would ever escape eternal torment—and they mocked it.
They. It's easy to cast ourselves among the few who, like Mary Magdalene, were truly appalled by the cross, isn't it? But C.J. Mahaney* makes a compelling case otherwise:
Let me tell you who I most identify with.
I identify most with the angry mob screaming, "Crucify Him!"
That's who we should all identify with. Because apart from God's grace, this is where we would all be standing, and we're only flattering ourselves to think otherwise. Unless you see yourself standing there with the shrieking crowd, full of hostility and hatred for the holy and innocent Lamb of God, you don't really understand the nature and depth of your sin or the necessity of the cross.
As the shouts and screams from the mob grow in volume, what's it like for our Lord to look out upon these people? Even if you can't recognize yourself among the angry faces, or distinguish your own strident voice . . . He can. And in response to those sinful shouts and curses from you and me, Jesus yields to the sentence of death . . .
When we begin to grasp that we joined that mockery—that we are to blame for the Savior's death—we start to understand the seriousness of our sin.
But convicting you of sin is not my ultimate purpose here; rather, I want to convince you of grace. For when you're deeply aware of your sin, and of what an affront it is to God's holiness, and of how impossible it is for Him to respond to this sin with anything other than furious wrath—you can only be overwhelmed with how amazing grace is.
Only those who are truly aware of their sin can truly cherish grace.
*C.J. Mahaney, Living the Cross-Centered Life (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers), 2006, pp. 87-88.