It is odd that we have made even Jesus into such a quivering mass of affirmation and oozing graciousness, considering how frequently, unguardedly, and gleefully Jesus told us that we were sinners. Anyone who thinks that Jesus was into inclusiveness, self-affirmation, and open-minded, heart-happy acceptance has then got to figure out why we responded to him by nailing him to a cross. He got there not for urging us to "consider the lilies" but for calling us "whitewashed tombs" and even worse.
Yet it is perhaps not such a mystery that we have attempted - Scripture be damned - to produce a promiscuously permissive, user-friendly Jesus. ... Our situation is that we view our lives through a set of lies about ourselves, false stories of who we are and are meant to be, never getting an accurate picture of ourselves. Through the "lens" of the story of Jesus we are able to see ourselves truthfully and call things by their proper names. Only through the story of the cross of Christ do we see the utter depth and seriousness of our sin. Only through this story that combines cross and resurrection do we see the utter resourcefulness and love of God who is determined to save sinners (Romans 3:21-25).