It is a strange thing that many Christians are afraid of looking at the cross. For many people, when they look upon the cross the message that they hear is “you’re not good enough, this is is a symbol of how horrible you are, your sin is so great that it did this to me”. Christians would never admit that this is what they think, but this false belief is often betrayed by their reluctance to pray or the fact that they struggle to find joy in the gift of the cross.
When Jesus died on the cross he was speaking only a message of pure love and forgiveness. The whole point of the cross is that God is saying that he loves us while we are still sinners, and it is only when we receive that love that we will be able to stop sinning.
This self-condemnation really comes from our pride. I am ashamed that I am not perfect, so I try to make myself perfect my beating myself into shape. I need to realise that every time I feel shame over my sin, the pain has more to do with my wounded pride than a genuine feeling of being condemned by God. We need to pray for the grace of absolute confidence in the mercy of God as well as the humility to accept that I am not perfect, and never will be, so that we can truly be free and rejoice in the gift of the cross