Monday, April 10, 2017
These words which Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians should provoke in us much thought and meditation: “And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:1-2) Paul clearly stated with these words that He was determined to keep his message to the Corinthians as simple as he could and that he would not focus on anything else other than the cross and crucifixion of Christ. He was not going to embellish his message with flowery words of expression. As Jesus Himself would do, Paul wanted the message of Christ’s salvation by way of the cross to be simple enough so that even children would understand it. The truth is that, because the message is simple, children are usually quicker to grasp and understand it than adults.
The topics I can teach, preach, or write about are endless but this declaration of Paul serves as a reminder to all true ministers of the gospel that we can’t stray too far from it’s central theme, the cross of Christ. It is not mere coincidence that the cross is indeed the center of the gospel message. Without the cross of Christ, there would be no salvation, our lives would be meaningless, and we would have no hope. It is ironic that the cross, a symbol of cruelty, torture, and pain, has become, to countless of God’s children around the world, the thing they cherish the most. Knowing that to be true, George Bennard included this line in one of the most beloved hymns the world has ever known: [So I'll cherish the old rugged cross / Till my trophies at last I lay down / I will cling to the old rugged cross / And exchange it some day for a crown.]
Ever since Christ came into my life, “The Old Rugged Cross” has meant so much to me and I confess that even today, almost fifty years later, I have a hard time trying to sing it. Remember the movie line “you had me at hello”? Well, the Old Rugged Cross does the same to me. I break up as soon as I hear: “On a hill far away.” Every day, we see people wear crosses on a necklace or in their apparel. Every time I do, I am aware that not everybody wears them for the same reason. Even so, and God knows who they are, many wear them because they indeed cherish the cross of Christ. What does the cross mean to you?
God’s word for today: (Galatians 6:14) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”