Today is Sunday. It’s the day Christians meet to honor Jesus.
We take communion and remember “the crucified Christ.” Prior to partaking a song will be sung that is often cross-centered. Someone will read a passage about Jesus’ death, or the institution of the Lord’s Supper. Remarks will be made that remind us that the bread represents His body, and the fruit of the vine His blood.
We’re reminded to focus on the cross. We think about His death. His sorrow. His suffering. His sacrifice for our sins. We see His “thorn-crowned brow.” His “riven side.” His “nail-scarred hands.”
Yet, this day and our “glory in the cross” represents one of the greatest paradoxes in all human history.
A paradox is “a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality, expresses a possible truth.” Jesus often spoke truths that contained a paradox. For instance, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt 10:38).
The “message of the cross” is a great paradox. Paul said it was “foolishness” to the Greeks. A “stumbling block” to the Jews. Yet the “power of God” to the saved (1 Cor. 1:18-25).
On Friday when Jesus was crucified, His ministry suddenly ended. He was forsaken. Wounded. Humiliated. Killed. Failed to establish His Kingdom. And darkness prevailed. Or so it seemed.
Yet, Sunday told a different story.
“Very early on the first day of the week” Jesus arose from the dead. Tragedy turned to triumph. His “failure” became the consummate success story as the name of Jesus spread throughout the Roman empire. Out of darkness, shone eternal light. The cross, instead of ending His ministry, was the instrument to enhance it. Defeat became victory.
Jesus was forsaken that we might be forgiven. He was wounded that we might be healed. He was humiliated that we might be gloried. He was killed that we might live. The crucifixion became the cornerstone to the Kingdom coming and became its central message. Indeed He was sacrificed that we might be saved.
Today when you assemble consider the paradox of the cross. Remember why it happened. What it means. And how it can change your life. And affect your eternal destiny.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman