Has it ever occurred to us that the reason the cross of Christ does not mean more to us is that we fail to see how Jesus died to save us from our primary sin -which is our ardent self-determination, our unflappable, wild insistence on being in control of our own lives, our refusal to let Him be God over us, to entrust Him with the care of our lives? In our insistence for life to go the ways we determine, to be able to find the right answer and get things to go the way we want, of course we are not more grateful for a God who saves us.
Why feel grateful? After all, we are still trying to be our own saviors. God isn't doing a good job when it comes to our lives, so we will take that responsibility back, thank you very much. Perhaps we will let Jesus be our Savior to get us to "heaven" some day. We will let Him pay for our sins. But in our daily lives it is we who insist on leading ourselves through the desert and making the trek into the kind of comfortable journey that we insist it must be. It is we who wish to be our own saviors, with all of our plans and strategies to control life and refuse to let it go into the hands of the One to whom it ultimately belongs.
And the result? Misery, pain, and relational disintegration. I don't mean the pain that comes from simply living in this world. I mean added pain. I mean pain and misery added because our craving for self-determined control, to be faithless captains of our own souls, meets real life. And it is there that we see our iron grip on the people and details of life does not work out as neatly as it does in our conceiving little minds. Like trying to grasp at pouring oil, everything slips through our fingers, only adding to the desperation and frustration and pain of life.