The cross (along with the resurrection) is the central theme of Christianity. There is a reason that Christians use a cross as our symbol. But is the cross a good or bad thing?
Some skeptics describe the gospel in this way: “God was so angry with humans that in his rage, he killed his own innocent son.” That doesn’t sound like a gospel worth celebrating. It sounds more like cosmic child abuse.
It is actually a total misunderstanding. The main problem is that it misrepresents the relationship between the Father and the Son. This is not equivalent to a human parent who fathers and child and then puts them in place to die in place of others.
God is a trinity, that is one God in three persons. There was no time when the Father was and the Son was not. The same is true with the Spirit.
The cross is not about grabbing some innocent bystander and having them killed. The cross is about reconciling humanity to God by sacrifice that God participated in. God didn’t ask someone else to do it, God experienced it through the death of the incarnate Son.
We may not fully understand the theological significance of the cross, but the cross did something that broke down the stronghold of sin, allowing us full access to God.
What took place on that cross was not child abuse but a radical act of God motivated by love for his people.