The Cross… the Power of God
Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
Scripture: “For the message about 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)
Reflection: To the first followers of Christ, crucifixion was a punishment reserved for slaves and the vilest of criminals, and was not only a cruel death but was seen as a disgrace and curse. For them, the cross was an,“emblem of sorrow and shame” associated with excruciating pain, tears, blood and horrible death. Jesus, for whom there was no evidence to support wrong-doing, was crucified, and in the process, experienced a most horrible and humiliating death, for the sole reason that He posed a danger to the political status quo of the time.
And every time we think of what Jesus must have endured as His sin-offering for us, we should feel horrified and humbled by the sacrifice, and must pause to ask ourselves; ‘Are we really worth that much to Him?’ We are. And, that is why He made the sacrifice, as part of His rescue plan for mankind. The cross, therefore, is no longer an instrument of torture, but a symbol of forgiveness, atonement, mercy and love. represents the whole reason for being Christians, who see the Cross; as another representation of the Power of God.
Was it easy for Jesus to have walked the road knowing He would die? He, mortal Christ, like you and I, did not feel comfortable with the task ahead and even asked if it were possible for ‘the cup to be taken’ from Him. Notwithstanding, He accepted His task and was crucified. What message does that communicate to us about how we manage those difficult times in our lives? Despite Jesus’ great sacrifice, we still struggle to understand, experience and live the Christian experience and stick to the values He taught, a situation that is no different from that of the children of Israel who struggled with living their lives according to the laws of God. It is reassuring to know that, in our deepest and darkest times, He knows our pain, and is ever present, if we but ask and rely on His help.
Take heart, my friends, and do not be discouraged by the doubts and challenges you face. Let us not grow faint in our walk, but instead let us gain courage and support from the company of believers who are with us on the journey and let us instead be strengthened by the power of the cross – the old, rugged, beautiful and sacred cross – the symbol of victory and defeat, because, “to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”
Meditation: “You can count on this: God’s foolishness will always be wiser than mere human wisdom, and God’s weakness will always be stronger than mere human strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25, The Voice)
Prayer: Abba Father, we pray that we may always see the beauty of the cross and not take for granted the gift that was given to us when Your Son died for our sins. Help us, Lord, to bring comfort to others as we grow in our knowledge of You, always being grateful that, in spite of our sinful nature, You, Lord, are merciful towards us. Amen.
The St. Jude’s Writers
St. Jude’s Church
Anglican Diocese of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
10 March 2021