By: Waylon Bailey
The cross is a stumbling block.
From the Greek word for stumbling block, we get the English word scandal.
The cross is scandalous because it depicts a dying Messiah and a suffering servant. It describes a way of salvation that humans could never dream up. Paul noted that Jews seek miraculous signs and Greeks simply think of the cross as foolish talk (1 Corinthians 1:18-25).
Not much has changed in the last two millennia. We still make the cross a scandal by assuming that we can create God in our image and that we know more about who should go to heaven than God Himself.
This, of course, is pure foolishness. When we act as if we know more about justice, fairness, and righteousness than God, we have reached the ultimate foolishness. But that is exactly where we are in our society. People–exalting their own supposed wisdom–declare that they can’t worship a God who judges, condemns sin, or allows bad things to happen.
We even condemn the ultimate in divine love–the truth that God has provided a way for salvation. When God provides and points out the way, we scandalize Him with a “how dare you” kind of response. This is the view of those who are perishing.
For those who are being saved the cross is something quite different. It is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16).
What does this scandalous cross do?
It reconciles us to God. We who were far off and “at odds” with God have been brought near to God by the blood of the cross.
The cross makes peace with God. Our hostility kept us from God. God made peace through the cross. Peace with God issues in peace with others and peace with ourselves. The fruit of God’s Spirit is peace (Galatians 5:22-23).
The cross ransoms us from sin and rebellion. We belong to Christ by the blood of the cross.
And, the list never ends. The cross is God’s power at work.
Have a great week living in the power of the cross.