Some thoughts on the meaning of the cross from John Stott:
“The essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives that belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to man alone.
“As we stand before the cross, we begin to gain a clear view both of God and of ourselves, especially in relation to each other.”