THE CROSS TODAY
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
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: 18-30
As we approach Good Friday, we turn our thoughts toward Jesus and the Cross. The Holy week is ordinarily spent meditating on the suffering Saviour and his journey to the Cross of Calvary. But this is a Holy week like no other. It has altogether been an overwhelming season as the novel Coronavirus pandemic is sweeping across the world bringing distress and death. At the start of 2020, it would have been considered fictitious if someone said, in just a few months, globally, businesses would be closed, the economy heading toward recession, airports shut, school rooms empty, cathedrals vacant and roads deserted! It was unimaginable and truly ‘novel’ for our infallible generation which had not observed anything like this before.
Our generation, however, has witnessed some of the greatest advances the modern world can ever imagine. We have taken great pride in our connectivity, our ability to go from one end of the world to the other in a matter of hours. We have delighted in huge advances in the field of medicine and science with decreased mortality rates and prolonged life spans, finding cures and vaccines for various pathologies. We have taken giant leaps ahead in the sphere of computers and telecommunications such like the world has not priorly envisioned. Our modern-day life, in the previous century would have only been a far fetched tale in the science fiction books. But will a powerful and postmodern world like ours come to a standstill at the hands of a microscopic virus?
1 Corinthians 1:19-21: For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
We are truly faced with the fact that all our knowledge in science and medicine pales before this Sovereign majesty of God. All our science in all its wisdom is still so feeble against this pestilence that is wiping out multitudes in a matter of minutes. The passage below emphasizes that the foolishness of God is still wiser than man’s greatest exploits and the weakness of God much stronger than man. This puts into perspective how small all our greatest achievements are under the mighty hand of God, even in man’s futile attempts to contain this virus. Is God reminding us that we need to turn to Him at this time?
but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.
1 Corinthians 1: 23 - 29
The cross of Jesus Christ matters more today than it ever has. Every drop of precious blood He had shed was so that none may perish but that all may come to Him. (2 Peter 3:9) The cross of Christ truly saves- saving us from hell and destruction. He is that promised Messiah- the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6). With multitudes losing their lives in such an unprecedented manner, alone and far away from their loved ones, it only brings to mind how crucial it is accept Christ into our hearts and share the redemptive work of Jesus to our friends and fellow members with utmost urgency. The urgency being the fact that the direction or the timeline of this pandemic remains unknown.
To most of us, the cross in the past may have only been an important Christian symbol or a tradition of the Holy Week. But readers, allow it to be more than just that. As a child growing up in the 80’s, almost every message we heard at church was about Jesus’ return, and deep down we truly believed that Jesus would come in our lifetimes. The times and the signs we see today are only confirmative to His imminent return. But somewhere along the way in our hectic schedules, we have failed to recall these truths. May the Holy Spirit remind us once more, that Jesus said He will come again, and it may actually be our generation that witnesses the end of times.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.
2 Peter 3: 10-12
But we can be reassured that our all-knowing God holds our unknown future in His hands. (Jeremiah 29:11) Let us not be fearful but bold and courageous in Christ, ready and alert, at this time. May we also use our time accountably enriching ourselves with God’s Word and rooting ourselves and our families in prayer. May we cling to the cross of Jesus Christ ever so dearly like never before and run the race before us with endurance. ( Hebrews 12: 1-3)
'The essential background to the cross, therefore, is a balanced understanding of the gravity of sin and the majesty of God. If we diminish either, we thereby diminish the cross'
~ John Stott
Contributed by Christina Stanley