I've been wondering over mission whether the massive focus on the cross asatonement only ends up with less focus on Jesus. Here's the rundown of most gospel conversations so far... God made the world, but people sinned, it all went pear shaped and humans were in the red. So God sent his son, killed him to fudge the books for us, so if we repent (of something?) and believe (in grace not works), then we have direct access to the father (Jesus job is done, he now sits on the sidelines). Where is the Resurrection? Where is the Ascension? Where is Jesus? Is god a bad account keeper?
No , God sends his Son to be the human we were meant to be, to be obedient the way we never were. Where the rest of us, like the disciples, had got scared and run away, or like the chief priests had got scared and fought back, where we, faced with giving ourselves to God and others backed off, Jesus came through. Yes Jesus death atones for my sin, but it also redeems the very idea of 'humanity'. In Jesus death on the cross we see that humans aren't a failed project of God, doomed to continually stuff things up and console themselves with 'I'm only human'.
Thus God's 'Yes' to Jesus, as he raises him from the dead is 'Yes' to humanity. In dying Jesus is the true human, in rising he is the new human. On the cross the old human is utterly condemned as it commits the most atrocious sin, killing the obedient one, killing God. To be old human is to identify with those that slaughtered the perfect one. Jesus ascends to the right hand of the father, and we are invited to hang on to his regal coat tails, to join his new family, the new
humanity that is right with God. The new humanity that looks in hope for God to restore our bodies and the world. We repent of the old humanity, with its fear, that could not and did not know God (so we turn from idols), and we believe in JESUS AS LORD, that is as YHWH, as God. Jesus does not open the way for us to know God by fudging God's accounting, He is the way, because if we know him, we know God.