Micah 6:1-8; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Matthew 5:1-12
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I feel like a broken record some Sundays. I feel like I’m just repeating the same point over and over again, and not amounting to saying anything. Though if I could teach you one thing about listening to a pastor’s sermon, this would be it. You should expect to hear the same thing every single week. I would be upset if you didn’t. For the entire sermon should revolve around this one proclamation... Christ crucified for you!
As Christians, we have heard this time and again. We know the significance of the cross and its importance for our salvation. We’ve heard it so much that we may start to even tune it out or think it unimportant. But we can’t. The cross confronts us at every turn.
The cross doesn’t make sense to us, no matter how many times we’ve heard it. It doesn’t matter how much we think we understand about the cross. There is still more it has to teach us. For think about what Paul writes, “The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God,” 1 Corinthians 1:18. The world doesn’t understand the cross. It doesn’t understand a God who is willing to die. It doesn’t understand a victory that looks like defeat. It doesn’t understand why God would choose suffering, pain, and death to be the means of our salvation.
We don’t understand the cross because it’s folly to our human thinking. The wisdom of humanity is nothing when it comes to the cross. We prefer power over weakness, success over failure, life over death. Human wisdom has come to believe that “salvation” can only be that which seems reasonable to us: health, wealth, fame, and unending happiness. Yet, any attempts to morph the cross into our own vision will empty it of its power.
Every Sunday, you should hear this same proclamation, Christ has been crucified for you. Christ has died for your sins. For the word of the cross is the power of God to save you. It confronts us at every turn and is the basis for everything we know about God. For God was pleased to use something as “weak, foolish, and shameful” as the cross to reveal to you his mercy and grace in Christ Jesus. The cross is our ultimate wisdom and from it we learn about all of life, theology, and eternity. It’s that simple, yet also that profound. For the whole of Christianity is grounded on this one fact… Christ died on the cross to save you.
Almighty God, You know we live in the midst of so many dangers that in our frailty we cannot stand upright. Grant strength and protection to support us in all dangers and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen!