The past few days, I have been meditating on a scripture that I have enjoyed for so many years, but never preached on or commented on. So, today I want to make a few comments about it. It is from 1 Corinthians 2:1-2. “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
I am staying in a Roman Catholic guest house in Lodwar. On my wall is a crucifix…now I have to admit, I don’t have a problem with a crucifix. In fact, we have a couple of them in our home in the United States that have been given to us. However, I always believed it was wrong to focus on Jesus on the Cross – that we needed to focus on the empty tomb! I still believe that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is that which proves the power of God over death and the grave – but as I was meditating on 1Corinthians 2, I began to see something. John Crowder in his book Mystical Union says, “Many people are rightly excited about the resurrection. They want to hurry through all this talk about the Cross and get to the after dinner dessert. But if you don’t want to think much on the cross, you obviously have a wrong perspective of it. It is a very appealing place when you understand it…In fact, it is where all of Heaven opened up and God poured out all your birthdays, Christmases and Disneylands in one fell swoop!” That really struck me – the Cross is the central focus of the Gospel that Paul preached.
When you look at the places where the word ‘crucified’ is used, it seems Paul had such a strong desire to get us to identify with Christ at that point. Romans 6:6 says, “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him…” Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ;” Gal 3:1, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?” It was at the cross where Jesus finished the work of Redemption. It was there that my sin was nailed to the cross. It was at the cross where my sickness and disease died! It was there where my poverty died! It was there where all that was wrong with me was dealt with – and now in Him, I am righteous!
I will continue to focus on the resurrection – and I probably won’t have many crucifix in my home – but I am determined to identify more clearly with what God has done for me at the Cross! As the old Hymns says, ,”In the cross, in the cross be my glory ever; till my raptured soul shall find, rest beyond the river.” I thank God that IN THE CROSS I have found rest!