DEVOTIONAL – JUNE 21
MESSAGE OF CROSS
Leslie M. John
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
Apostle Paul writes that the message of the cross of Christ is foolishness to those, who are perishing, but to those who are saved it is the power of God. Paul preached the Gospel of Jesus and his crucifixion, but it was foolishness to Greeks. But the message of cross is power for those who believe in Jesus.
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit”. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
When Paul came to know that there were contentions and divisions among the followers of Christ, and some of them identified themselves as belonging to Apollos, and some to Cephas, and some to Christ, he questioned them if Christ was divided? He further questioned them if he himself was crucified for them.
To the Jews the message of cross was not acceptable because they did not believe that Jesus bore our sins on the cross; rather they wanted to see signs and proofs. To the Greeks, who believed in philosophy and wisdom of this world, the message of cross was foolishness. Paul’s main motto was to preach the gospel of Jesus. Speaking of Jesus he says…
“Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Galatians 1:4)
Paul laid emphasis on preaching ‘Christ crucified’ rather than usage of clever and attractive words, luring men into false confidence, and false promises of good health, or enough wealth, or guaranteed prosperous life. Any other type of preaching without showing the truth of the cross, where the Son of God shed his precious blood, will be of no effect. Temporary assuage may be achieved by preaching resting on false promises, but sooner or later such preaching would be denounced.
God destroys the wise men of this world that treat the message of cross with contempt. Everything in this world is transient and temporary. What lasts is the eternal life that can be had only by faith in Jesus, who has paid price for our salvation. It is the gift of God and cannot be purchased with any amount of wealth of this world. (1 Corinthians 1:17-23)
Jesus died, was buried and God raised Him on the third say. The resurrection of Jesus is the truth, which gives us hope that our life does not end with the death, but there is life beyond death. We will be with the Lord for ever and ever.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord”. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
John saw, in his vision, a new heaven and a new earth after the first heaven and the first earth passed away and there was no more sea. In this New Jerusalem there was not seen any difference between Jews or Gentiles, but those who were there, were all one in Christ. They had put on righteousness of Christ as their garments. They had received Jesus as their personal Savior and as their Lord by grace through faith in him.
Believe in Jesus as your Lord and confess your sins to Him. Believe that Jesus died for our sake to redeem us from our sins. He was buried and his body did not see corruption. He was raised by God on the third day. After forty days He ascended into heaven and seated on the right hand of the Majesty. Bible promises that whosoever believes in Lord Jesus Christ will have everlasting life and for unbelievers condemnation to be cast into ‘lake of fire’, where unbeliever gnashes of teeth, and his/her thirst does not quench.