I originally didn't intend part one to be this short. I've been working on a draft, and I keep tweaking, and thinking about what I want to say. But then it hit me...Duh...One of the reasons that I don't view the Cross as punishment is because of Athanasius. He was one of the earliest to write about the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of Christ, and not once does he say that Christ was punished by God for our sins. Rather He talks at length about how Christ destroys sin and death on the Cross.
You can read and English translation of his writing on the Incarnation here:
By the way if you don't know who Athanasius is, he is one of the key people who helped to determine the cannon of Scripture that we use today. He is considered the first to identify the 27 books of the New Testament.