The way of the cross leads down.
It was Martin Luther who pointed out that most people associate God with His glory -- with His works of power in Creation, the Exodus, or the Final Judgment.
Look at the way He's portrayed in the movies, after all; either He shows up with the full donner und blitzen . . .or He's a light, streaming down through the clouds from above.
But in his Theology of the Cross, Luther argued that we know God best, not when we look at His grandeur, but when we look at His humiliation, His suffering, and His death on the cross.
Yes, these things show us what God is really like -- and they show us how desperate He was to save us.
In the incarnation, after all, God gave us Himself. He did not hold back anything; there was nothing more that He could give.
And in the crucifixion, God Himself died. He did not spare Himself anything; there was nothing more that He could do.
In short, the cross is not a sacrifice we offer to God; it is a sacrifice He endured for us.
No, the cross is not is not a ladder we climb to God.
It is the ladder He descended to be with us.