Steadfast Love: Cross Logic – Sunday March 10, 2024

What saving are you looking for?


2000 years ago, Christ was an unexpected savior. Not that the people hadn’t been waiting for him. No, they had been waiting with great expectation, but he was not what they, anticipated. A savior, born to a family from an easily looked over town? A family without riches or prominence? A savior who preaches peace and love? A savior who rides into town not on a giant, triumphant steed but on a donkey? No, the people wanted a mighty revolutionary who would fight for them against the Roman oppressors. During the last days of Christ’s life when he was imprisoned, the people had an opportunity to free Christ or a person named Barabbas. The crowd chose Barabbas, the one who had led campaigns against Rome, who had physically fought the empire that occupied them. And while on the cross, the people looked at Christ and said, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God…He saved others…but he can’t save himself!” A savior who suffers and dies? Ridiculous. How weak is that? How foolish? 2000 years ago, Christ was an unexpected savior, a foolish savior, and a savior we need.


The section of 1 Corinthians Kevin read highlights a key concept for Paul. In New Testament studies we call it the logic of the cross. It is the message of the cross, the word of the cross, as an ultimate representation of God’s wisdom, values, power, and priorities over the wisdom of the world. A savior who cries, bleeds, preaches peace, suffers, and dies? Seriously? Foolish, when viewed through the values of the world.


But living by the values and wisdom of the world is how we go astray. Back then, the values and wisdom of the world led Rome to conquer and oppress. Might makes right, status and physical strength are power, and driven by the need to have more, more land, more riches, more. And the people wanted a savior who played by those same rules, but God doesn’t. What does Paul write to the church in Corinth, “For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.” What appears, through the lens of the world, as weak and foolish, God reveals as true strength and true wisdom. In the cross, God takes an instrument of Roman capital punishment and uses it to show the power of peace and self-extending love.


In fact, over and over and over again in scripture God reveals God’s priorities and values. Choosing Moses to lead the people out of Egypt, Moses who doubted himself and probably had a speech impediment. Choosing David to become king, not the physically strongest or biggest of his brothers but the young boy out tending the sheep. Christ’s teachings. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. Christ’s teachings are filled with great reversals of expectation and upending of typical priorities. Whom did Christ eat with and spend time with? Children, women, outcasts.


In his letter to the church in Galatia, Paul wrote about the fruit of the spirit. Things born into our life through the Holy Spirit. Those things are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. They are not status, physical strength, fame, riches, and titles. Those latter things are power as defined by the world. God’s values? God’s power? God’s wisdom? love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, self-extending love. That is the wisdom of God. That is the proclamation of the cross.


So, what saving are you looking for? Are you looking for a knight on a horse to come in and upend your life, to sweep you away? Are you looking for solutions and rescue in status, money, work, your kids or grandkids successes? We’ve all been there. And those solutions, looking for salvation in those places, may feel good and work for a little while, but they don’t last. What has transformed my life the most has been slow and steady things like peace and patience, loving myself, serving others, gratefulness, and joy. What has impacted my life the most, are things anchored not in the wisdom and power of this world but in God’s values, God’s wisdom, God’s power. You know, we’re not so different from the people 2000 years ago. Christ may not offer us the saving we expect, but he sure does offer us the saving we need. Amen.

Copyright © 2024 | My Music Band by Catch Themes