“The cross is the center of the world’s history; the incarnation of Christ and the crucifixion of our Lord are the pivot round which all the events of the ages revolve” once wrote the British minister, Alexander MacLaren.
Not only is the cross, the center of the world’s history, but it is also fittingly the center of why Christians assemble on Sunday. It is the center of what we will be doing today.
So many of our hymns speak either directly or indirectly about the cross. From “At the Cross, to “A Hill Called Mt. Calvary, to the familiar classic, “The Old Rugged Cross,” we remember, memorialize, and express gratitude for what the cross means to us.
Every Sunday prayers reference the cross. And, of course, our communion service is solely focused on the Cross.
In I Corinthians 1:18, Paul speaks of “the message of the cross.” It’s a message that an unbelieving world can’t comprehend and dismisses as “foolishness.” But to the saved the cross proclaims a powerful message.
Think about it. The message of the cross is a message of…
…God’s love for us (Jn. 3:16).
…Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins (Jn. 10:18).
…Reconciliation that restores our relationship with God (Eph. Eph. 2:16-18).
…Redemption from the slavery of sin and the shackles of Satan’s dominion (Eph. 1:18; Rom. 6:15-18).
…Inclusion into the Family of God where barriers are broken down and everyone is accepted (Gal. 3:16-27).
…Peace that says “All is well with my soul” (Rom. 5:1-2).
…Grace and mercy that reminds us that God gives me blessings I don’t deserve and withhold punishment I do deserve.
…Hope that transcended this discouragement and despair of the world (Col. 1:5).
…Our bodily resurrection which says us that our death is not final, but simply a transition to a better body the Lord will one day give us (1 Cor. 15:29+58).
The Cross. It’s not just a shiny ornament to be worn. Or a marker at a gravesite. But a powerful message to be believed, embraced, and lived.
Today, like the apostle Paul, I will “boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman