November 22 – Following Jesus in a Jacked-Up Church – What the Cross Means for You

Read 1 Corinthians 1:18

Most people are no strangers to the cross. In the United States, it is especially common to see crosses on top of church buildings, inside of church buildings, around people’s necks, inside of stores around Easter time, on bumper stickers, and in people’s flower gardens. The cross is a symbol that has been very ordinary in our culture for many years.

But that hasn’t always been the case, especially back when Rome ruled the known world. The cross wasn’t something that people revered or wanted to see. It was something that struck fear into the hearts of those who wanted to avoid it. Crosses were used as punishment for those that Rome deemed to be guilty of crimes.

And although the cross may be a common symbol to see today, do people actually know what the cross means for them? Do you know what the cross means for you?

How did an ancient death instrument become a symbol of hope to the world?

First Corinthians 1:18 says:

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”.

For those who do not know Christ, the cross is foolish or even stupid. The rest of 1 Corinthians 1 talks about how God uses what seemingly is foolish to the world to accomplish His purpose. His wisdom is above the wisdom of this world. God uses what is lowly, what is weak, and what is despised to show His power. Why does He use these things? First Corinthians 1:29-31 tells us that He uses these things so that no one can boast in anything but Him.

God used something so despised, so lowly, and so dark as a death on the cross to save sinners. Sin requires the payment of death and Jesus was the only perfect sacrifice that would please God’s requirement for that payment.

This does not make sense to those who do not know Christ but to those who do, it is a wonderful truth.

So, what does the cross mean for you? I know what it means for me, and I want to share one of my favorite Bible verses about the cross, one that I try to live by. Galatians 6:14 says:

“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.”

The cross has set me free! I’m free from the bondage of sin! I’m free from the guilt of my past! And I’m free to live for Christ! I guess I could say, the cross means everything to me. There is nothing else that I can boast in.

That’s also what the cross should mean for you. We should only boast in the cross of Christ since it’s only because of His death on that cross and His resurrection from the dead that we have life. I challenge all of us this week to make it a point to boast only in the cross of Christ and not in ourselves, in other people, or in other things.

Ethan Cline

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