Reframing the Cross of Jesus Christ
What is weakness and foolishness to the world but is actually power and wisdom? It’s the cross of Jesus Christ. In this episode of To the Saints, we destruct and reconstruct what the death of Christ did and meant—and it’s so much more than just taking on the sins of the world.
1 Corinthians 1:17-24: For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
John 10:14-18: “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
1 Corinthians 1:26-30: “Brothers, consider your calling: Not many are wise from a human perspective, not many powerful, not many of noble birth. Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world—what is viewed as nothing—to bring to nothing (nullify – to make of no value or consequence) what is viewed as something, so that no one can boast in His presence (that no flesh may glory before Him). But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became God-given wisdom for us—our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, in order that, as it is written: The one who boasts must boast in the Lord.
On the cross Christ was crucified like a criminal. Laid bare and naked for all to see. He was at his lowest, weakest moment. He was despised. He was rejected. Yet Paul said Christ crucified is the power and wisdom of God. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor. 1:25).
Trying to understand God through our human mind is the wrong starting point. We start with God first, not us. There maybe things about God we don’t understand or even like, and these are stumbling blocks. To pick and chose the parts of God we can understand is using Greek wisdom/philosophy. Even Jesus said to John the Baptist, “blessed is he who’s not offended in me.” Jesus did not stop John from being beheaded.
Jesus Christ destroyed and fulfilled many things with His death on the cross. And He did this, not through being something massive like Godzilla or King Kong, but through being the Lamb.
See what the most powerful force in the universe can do:
- Cross Destroyed the Old Kingdom (everything that is not a part of His Kingdom):
- Sin (Romans 8:3)
- Devil (Hebrews 2:14)
- Rulers & Authorities (Colossians 2:15)
- World System (John 12:31-32)
- Law (Colossians 2:13-14)
- Flesh (Galatians 5:24)
- Death (Acts 2:22-24; 1 Cor 15:54-55)
- You/Me (Romans 6:6)
- Cross Implemented a New Kingdom:
- Unseen (seen only by faith/spiritual eyes)
So the death of our Lord Jesus on the cross was an end and a beginning. It brings the whole race in Adam to an end, and it begins an entirely new race in Christ, with Him being the first born of this new race of people.
The Reality of the Cross
- Who’s This For?
- Humanity (humanism, universalism)—NO!
- God (Eternal Purpose)—YES!
- Cross the Tool of God
- To Bring out of Old Humanity into New
- To Bring from Death to Life
- To Bring from Salvation to Inheritance (purpose of salvation)
There are many false teachings on Jesus and His death on the cross floating around these days. If a teaching reduces the significance of the cross or the Lordship of Christ and Him as the Head of His Church, you can bet it’s a false teaching.
The crucified Lord accomplished much, both in destruction of the old kingdom and fulfillment of the Law and in ushering in the Kingdom of God. Its significance cannot be understated.
The nature of Christ is love because God is love and love is of God. Since Christ and the Father are one then love is of Christ, just the same. Before Jesus Christ, Who is the Word, became flesh his nature of love preceded the physical world. He has always been giving Himself over for the benefit of the Father. However, whenever we view the Eternal Word from merely an earthly perspective then we miss the greater purpose the Father intended for Christ.