My husband and I attend a small country church called St Luke. We love the people and the way they pray and serve and seek God’s will in everything.
We especially love the look of the exterior– inviting, well-kept. In recent years it earned a face-lift. Can you spot the difference between the two photos?
Hint: The subject of this blog post will point to the answer.
“We preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness.”
1 Corinthians 1:23
As we are still close to the day we celebrate as Resurrection Sunday, I’m posting this devotional thought I wrote about the cross.
Each Easter the people at my church bring flowers to decorate a large cross covered with chicken wire. It usually stands in the front of the sanctuary and makes a lovely, colorful, floral-scented replica of the awful cross Jesus died on. It is an example of the way Jesus took something ugly (our lives in sin) and made beautiful (new creations of our repentant lives). See the photo of my husband and me below.
When the Apostle Paul referred to Jesus as the “crucified Christ” in his first letter to the Corinthians, he coupled words that could have incensed many of his readers.
Jews who viewed Roman crosses erected in Palestine recalled the curse instituted by God upon anyone who hung on a tree:
You must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. Deuteronomy 21:23
Greeks and Romans reasoned that a rebellious slave punished in an offensive and undignified manner on a cross could never be God’s Chosen One.
Paul knew many people considered it foolishness to write of a “crucified Christ”. Yet, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he put the words together that best conveyed his meaning.
Paul was not ashamed of His Savior who had suffered and endured a cruel and shameful death on a cross. Throughout the Bible he and other writers explained how God used those two pieces to overcome the world’s sins and offer every person eternal salvation.
The cross has become a sign of salvation and victory to Christian believers. Today, many churches display the former device used to humiliate and shame its victims as a symbol of power and holiness.
What does the cross mean to you? Post a photo of your church’s demonstration of the cross in Comments.
Did you spot the difference between the two photos at the top? Some brave men from our church painted the 3 crosses depicting the Father (God), Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit to make them stand out more. They did a great job!
This is a photo of my husband and me standing in front of the floral cross in front of the exterior. The Corona Virus might have kept us from worshiping together but we still worshiped our living God via Facebook Live, email messages and photos. Hallelujah! He is Risen!
God, thank you for giving Your Son to die on the cross so that we might have life. Help us to be worthy of such a gift. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.