1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (NIV)
There are some Christians today who believe that the Cross was accidental and not a part of God’s plan. They say that Christ’s message of love is what is important now, and that to pin our faith on being forgiven through Jesus’ agonizing death is to worship a God that is vindictive, violent, and vile.
Paul would call them foolish and that they will end up perishing because they cannot accept the purpose of the Cross. I agree with Paul because if I accept that Christ’s death was purely accidental, then God is powerless and not worthy of worship. It would also mean that Jesus was just a foolish preacher who got caught up in his own rhetoric and deserved to be killed by the authorities. Christ would become just another was a self-centered religious simpleton instead of a selfless Savior.
For those of us who accept the power of the Cross as being predestined by God, we embrace an understanding that we are sinners who need to be saved from our sins. We don’t ever want to be separated from God and we don’t want to be cast aside forever. We claim the power of the crucified Christ, whose body was broken for our mistakes and whose blood was shed for our transgressions. In other words, without the Cross there is no forgiveness, and without Christ being nailed to that Cross, there is no hope of life after death. We would rather be fools for Christ on this side of life than fools for all of eternity on the other side of death.
Question: What does Christ’s Cross mean to me? How has it shaped my faith?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Savior of the world and the Redeemer of our souls. Your life was predestined by God to end in a sacrificial way. You accepted God’s will to be crucified, so that we can be forgiven of our sins and restored to God’s favor. Thank You for not abandoning us; thank You for loving us so much that You willingly sacrificed Your Life. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or make comments about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s new Lenten Cross drawings. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: Cross.