Usually when we think about Christ, and all that He accomplished for us, we mention the cross but immediately focus on the resurrection. Don’t get me wrong, the resurrection of Christ was the most important event in all of history. It sealed our redemption. Without the risen Lord, we would still be dead in our sins.
Our problem is that we usually don’t give the cross a second glance. We sometimes downplay the cross. We’ve become too familiar with it. We see crosses everywhere. It’s become the most recognized symbol of Christianity.
But do we really understand its significance in our growth process? As Paul writes to the Corinthian church, he’s trying to get across to them its importance. I think that our generation of the church needs this same understanding.
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel — not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 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.
1 Corinthians 1:17-18
In my last post, I talked about this a little. When I meditate upon what Paul is saying in this passage, it causes me to take a step back. Paul said that Christ did not make me an apostle to baptize. This statement should capture our attention.
The apostle was not sent out to make converts. That wasn’t his goal and it shouldn’t be ours. In some circles, this needs to be emphasized.
We’re not in the Kingdom of God to “get people saved.” We’re simply here to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ. How people respond to the message is up to them. The only thing I’ll be judged on is how accurately I gave that message, not on how many believed it. I think this distinction is lost on many believers.
However, there’s a deeper truth here than just to preach the Gospel. We must preach this Good News without emptying the cross of its power. By expressing the Gospel through my human wisdom and reasoning, I lose the power that’s resident in the cross. That’s why I need to hear a Word from God and preach that Word.
The Word of the cross has the power to save. But it’s how we understand this statement that makes all the difference. Remember, being saved is not a one-time thing. It’s an on-going process. That’s why the Word of the cross is for those who are being saved.
I need the saving power of God on a daily basis. This is the power that saves me from my sinful actions, sickness, poverty, depression, and a whole host of other issues I have to deal with in my old nature. The message of the cross speaks to all of these and brings victory. It’s because we’ve watered down the message of the cross, that we have such a battered down church in our generation.
When we give the Word of the cross a back seat, we miss out on the victory that God has made available to us. We need to understand what Paul is saying to us about the cross. My hope is that it will help us in becoming more like the Lord.
Question: What do you see as significant about the cross?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi