‘But we preach Christ crucified.’ 1 Corinthians 1:23 NKJV
A European village priest in medieval times is said to have told his congregation, ‘Come back tonight for a special sermon about Jesus.’ And they did. To their surprise, however, no candles illuminated the sanctuary. They groped their way to the pews and sat down. The priest was nowhere to be seen. Then they heard him walking through the church towards the front. When he reached the cross that hung on the wall, he lit a candle. And without saying a word he illuminated the pierced feet of Christ, then His side, then one hand, then the other. Raising the candle, he shed light on the blood-masked face and the crown of thorns. Then with a puff he extinguished the candle and dismissed the congregation. Nothing more needed to be said.
Take the words ‘Christ crucified’, and add the words ‘for me’, and you’ll understand what God did when He hung His sinless Son on that cross. Had you been the only person who ever lived, Christ would have died for you. With His arms stretched wide, He was saying, ‘This is how much I love you.’ When you’re tempted to sin, when you’re guilt-ridden by sin, when Satan whispers, ‘There’s no hope for you,’ when pride would have you focus on your own virtue and morality, go back to the cross. You can’t go there too often. Hymnist Isaac Watts sums it up in these words: ‘Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small; love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.’
SoulFood: Mt 5:10, 1 Th 2:13–3:5, 1 Cor 4:11–13, Rev 6:9–11
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023