I see the achievement of the cross in three expressions:
- Jesus dies “with us,” entering into our evil, our sin, and our suffering to subvert it and create a new way;
- Jesus dies “instead of us,” entering into our sin, our wrath, and our death;
- Jesus dies “for us.” His death forgives our sin, “declares us right,” absorbs the wrath of God against us, and creates new life where there was once only death.
A life shaped by the cross is a life bent on dying daily to self in order to love God, self, others, and the world. And a life shaped by the cross sees in the cross God becoming the victim, identifying with the victim, suffering injustice, and shaping a pattern of life for all who would follow Jesus. The cross reshapes all of life.