For the message of the crossisfoolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV)
God in His surpassing and unmatched wisdom has chosen the cross as the perfect instrument with which to synchronize and harmonize His justice and mercy. This is the most complicated and yet perfect “killing of two birds with one Stone” scenario!
The Divine Dilemma:
God created mankind in His own likeness for eternal fellowship and partnership with Him. He in fact loves mankind immensely. (See John 3:16) Mankind has one very serious issue. We have contracted the deadliest and most contagious virus called sin by breaking God’s law. On the other hand, God is holy by nature and cannot fellowship with sin. His holiness demands that we also must be holy in order to enjoy His company. “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.” (See Leviticus 19:2) Therefore, sin has left a gigantic gap between man and God. Furthermore, His holiness demands justice. Thus He is bound by His own nature to judge our sins. The penalty for sin is death, or eternal separation from God. (See Romans 6:23)
Allow me to compare this situation to that of an Executioner. This man is madly in love with a certain woman he dreams to marry one day. The woman gets in trouble with the law and has been found guilty and consequently has been sentenced to death. The Executioner is ordered to carry out the judgment. He finds himself in a very painful position as he is bound by both his duty to the law, and his love for her. What is he to do?
The Divine Remedy:
God’s law was indeed broken, and it had become an agent of death instead of life. The Apostle Paul said: “And the commandment which was to bring life, I found to bring death. (See Romans 7:10) In other words, the law was intended to be a blessing to us, but it had become a curse instead. Therefore, God devised this majestic plan with His only begotten Son Jesus. He sent Him down to earth to become the perfect sacrifice to conquer the power of sin and death on behalf of mankind. The curse of the law which was on us was then transferred upon the sinless Man Jesus, as He hanged on the cross and died. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”). (See Galatians 3:13)
With this single genius act, God has not only satisfied the demands of His holiness, but also gratified the deepest longing in His heart to restore mankind in his rightful position- namely eternal fellowship and partnership with Him. “ even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (See Ephesians 2:5-7 NKJV)
The Cross At Work In US
As we acknowledge and embrace the cross as the perfect wisdom of God to work out our salvation, its power is then activated and becomes effective in our daily lives.
The Apostle Paul said it this way: 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. (See 1 Corinthians 1:18 NKJV) We must recognize the cross as the place of power and victory, not weakness and defeat. To the naked eye, it would appear as though the Lord was completely weak and defeated. It was indeed quite the contrary. We must remember the cross as the place from which our Lord boldly proclaimed the accomplishment of His mission, namely, our salvation. “It is finished!” (See John 19:30)
The power of the cross can only be effective in our daily lives as we fully accept the fact that we are saved by grace through faith, not by our own efforts, lest we should have an opportunity to brag. (See Ephesians 2:8-9) It is indeed foolish to think that we can somehow save ourselves through any other means outside of the cross! “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?(See Galatians 3:1)
Our willingness to humbly follow in the Lord’s footsteps is the catalyst that will allow the power of the cross to be evidenced in our lives. The Apostle Peter expressed this truth in this manner: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: (See 1 Peter 2:21 NKJV)
Unless we crucify our pride and ego through fasting and prayer, we will never be able to exhibit the Christ like attitude needed when we are misjudged and mistreated by others. Jesus said: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (See Matthew 16:24)
Jesus gladly humbled Himself by denying His ego any opportunity to suppress the perfect wisdom of the Father, nor frustrate the Holy Spirit. Selflessness and complete reliance on our Father who judges righteously, will give free course to the power of the cross to manifest itself in our lives daily.
Homage to Jesus, my King
You carried the dreadful bloody cross,
as You walked the shameful path to Calvary.
You came to win and save the lost,
despising the shame, You carried on to victory.
Lord, You have gone all the way;
You have gone even to the very grave.
You knew how great the price You had to pay,
for wicked sinful souls of men to save.
Death could not hold You for too long;
You rose again to seal our eternal fate.
You made aright all we’ve done wrong,
and taught us to choose love instead of hate.
Now we behold the unfolding of all You foretold;
The earth aches and agitates, yearning for her King;
Lawlessness multiplies as many hearts grow cold;
But to Your everlasting saving arms, o Lord, we cling!