The Power Of The Cross, Evans Olang

1Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God”

There was a day  I was watching “All in the family” comedy, for those who remember the sitcom. In this episode, Archie Bunker the main character had a favorite chair he would always sit on after hard day’s work. No one was permitted to sit on it except him. In this episode, Mike aka meathead sat on it and broke it. He and his mother in-law tried to get it somewhere to be fixed and bring it back before Archie could find out. The try was not successful, they ran out of time. He later found out that his chair was missing and was led to the place where they had taken it to be fixed. After being fixed, someone offered to buy that same chair from him. An old chair wasn’t even pretty to look at. He was offered a lot of money for it, it was tempting but after seriously thinking through, he would not trade it for money. It had a lot of memories, for example, that is the same chair he sat on when he held Gloria when she was little, reading her stories and speaking to her about life.

This is what the cross is like, a very old, not good looking cross. Not sophisticated, no wonder the gospel message is so simple many times despised. We see a lot of well-made crosses, they look smooth, well painted and worth looking at, but when you go back to the cross of our Lord Jesus, it was not smooth but it had significance. The cross was where the condemned persons were executed. It’s amazing how the bible tips us on how different people view the cross, 1Corinthians 1:18, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God“. To the lost it is foolishness, what can an old rugged cross be of any value to us?, it’s like looking at the same old chair Archie valued. To someone else, it was just another old chair and so is to the sinner but to us who are saved, it is the power of God. Paul did not have the Lord always whisper to him that He loved him. We know that Paul went through a lot in life that in our day many would question if God loved them. I believe Paul knew that God loved him regardless of what he went through every time he looked to that old rugged cross. That is what propelled Paul to keep moving, God’s demonstration of His love was displayed on the cross. Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. I now understand why the disciples never preached the message “Jesus loves you”, they preached the love of Christ by preaching “Christ Crucified”.

Matthew 16:24, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me“. Christ carried His own cross, it was not an easy cross, neither was it a pretty cross yet it had a power to show the love of God. At times He stumbled and fell carrying the cross but never did He give up on it, they mocked Him, scourged Him but He would not give up on the cross. When He died on the cross, that cross became the power of God unto our salvation. And if we hang on to our cross and follow Him, yes we may be beat up with words, we may stumble and fall and it may be foolishness to those who are perishing around us, th truth of the matter, we know it is a treasure to us knowing that it be valued. This hymn chorus paints a beautiful picture, “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 someday for a crown”. The old rugged cross has a lot of memories to hold on to, it is a treasure that will one day payoff inform of a crown. If you are facing life challenges and wonder if God still loves you, look to the old rugged cross and cling to it. It has the power to keep you in line and strength to help you focus. It points you to Jesus who hang and died on it. If you can hang onto it for a little while till the end, someday exchange it for a crown. Blessings Ev

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