Sometimes we Lutherans are accused of being a little bit Cross-obsessed. I remember the words of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians: "I was determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" and Galatians 3: "before your eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified" and think about the joy of the Easter morning message the angel gave to women was: "You seek Jesus who was crucified. He, the crucified one, is not here. He is Risen!
The Cross is very much the heart, core, center, and focus of the sacred scripture because it is what He came to do; into our own flesh and blood in order the he might offer it up as this fully sufficient ransom for us, so that we could be set free!
It is the heart, core, center; true, it would leave us dead in our sin if He had not been raised, no question there. But it's the fact that He raised the one who bore the sin of the world that makes his resurrection the absolution of the entire world..." -- Rev. Will Weedon on Issues,Etc April 22, 2011
How does one truly wrap their brain around this fact: our true punishment for sin was taken on by one man. Who allowed himself to be nailed to a cross so that we might have the blessing of eternal life? I'm not really sure its possible. Jesus allowed himself to be beaten, whipped, mocked, debased, humiliated, for all of us. He went willing to take our place. Yours, mine, and even, believe it or not Charlie Sheen's.
We did nothing to deserve this gift and can do nothing to repay it, don't even try. Its more than us. More than me. More than you. Or, as Propaganda says in this video: "its above your pay grade..."