The Message of the Cross
Scripture reading for November 23rd: 1st Corinthians 1-6
To educated people, Christ and the cross seems to be a foolish idea. It doesn’t make sense to the natural mind trained to trust senses, self, and science. It is not logical or even believable to many who have college degrees and have embraced modern secular humanism. To these people, religion is fine, but the cross is offensive! They are strong enough to handle life by themselves and want to live it up while they can. But God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong! (1st Corinthians 1:27)
The message of the cross is a message of God’s wrath against sin. God has decreed that the soul that sins must die. (Romans 6:23) Jesus Christ took the wages of man’s sin upon Himself and was beaten, mocked, spit upon, ridiculed, and crucified as a common criminal. Isaiah says that we considered Him “stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4) The punishment that we deserved fell upon Him and by His stripes we are healed! (Isaiah 53:5) God’s wrath was directed against His own Son, that we might be free from that wrath! (2nd Corinthians 5:21)
The message of the cross tells of God’s love for us who are made in His image. God Himself being willing to send His only Son to earth just to die in our place tells the greatest love story ever told! “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) He demonstrated His love for us in that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners! (Romans 5:8) God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish, but have eternal life! (John 3:16)
The message of the cross demands repentance and faith. We must turn from our self-centered ways and look to Jesus Christ for salvation and forgiveness of sin. This message is the power of God for salvation to those who will believe! (Romans 1:16-17) “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” (1st Corinthians 1:30)
We must be humble to receive this message of the cross. It is foolishness to those who claim worldly wisdom. It is weakness to those who think themselves strong. It is an offense to our intellect and strength, but it is God’s wisdom for the humble! Oh how I love the cross and the One who gave His life for me! May this message of God’s wrath against sin and God’s amazing love flow from us who believe each and every day!