Daily Devotion, 4/13/18, “The Grand Pause”
“The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.” 1Corinthians 1:18 NLT
“The cross is foolish” sounds offensive but the reality is that our obsession with and celebration of the cross cannot possibly make sense to one who has not been forever changed by its power. It didn’t make sense to people in Jesus’ day any more than it makes sense to people in ours. Think about it. We wear a symbol of torture, death and humiliation around our necks, we display them in our houses and we worship with them in our churches. Crosses were created for hardened criminals, the worst of the worst, to make one final horrific payment back to society for all of the wrongs done by them. You build monuments to heroes and holy people, you don’t hang them on a cross and then make the cross itself a monument to them. Besides that, what’s so special about one falsely accused, wrongly convicted and unjustly executed man anyway? It’s not like no innocent man has ever paid for a crime he didn’t commit before. That’s why non-Christian people think it’s all so foolish. It doesn’t make sense, unless you know the whole story.
Jesus wasn’t murdered, at least not against His will. They didn’t take His life, He gave it. He had the power to walk away or to destroy those who took Him captive but He didn’t. This wasn’t just an innocent man hanging powerless on a tree. This was God in the flesh demonstrating the depths of His love. Jesus didn’t die begging for mercy or cursing His accusers. He died asking His Father to forgive them for their foolishness. How could they know that it wasn’t some random act? How could they know that it was actually being done on purpose for them? How could they understand that this wasn’t the end but simply the grand pause before the grand finale we call the resurrection? Soon the power of God would be revealed and all that was thought lost would be reclaimed. The cross became the symbol that represented us at our worst and God is at His Best! The cross is where our sin collided with God’s grace.
Perhaps you’re at a “grand pause” moment yourself these days. Perhaps things have not gone as you had hoped. In spite of your setbacks, hurts and disappointments, be encouraged. You do not serve a dead God who was murdered on a cross. You serve the resurrected One who defeated death…your death so that you could live and He could live in you. The power within you is vastly greater than the pain around you. Some in your circle may not understand the joy and hope you have in light of the problems you face. That’s because the cross doesn’t make sense to them. You know that your problems are just a grand pause before the promised grand finale. Hold onto hope. Keep the faith. Treasure the cross. You are loved!