For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV
When the religious leaders and the Roman soldiers crucified Jesus, they wanted to make an example out of him, and discourage his followers from spreading his message. Instead, they turned Jesus into a martyr and made his gospel message far more popular after Jesus’ death. Their scorn and ridicule of our Savior became the basis for his followers to praise and worship Him as the Savior of the world.
The cross was a form of capital punishment reserved for enemies of the Roman state, and the worst criminals. It was a place where pride, greed, arrogance, wickedness, and all crimes were punished in the most heinous fashion. This was the Roman’s way of purging their vast empire of the worst offenders.
Ironically, Jesus died on the cross precisely to purge humanity from its sinful state. At the cross, all sins were crucified with Christ, and his shed blood washed away our iniquities. It was at the cross that we became God’s royal priesthood and a holy nation. Jesus turned the cross into a symbol of eternal hope instead of a symbol of shame.
In today’s text, Paul reminds us that “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Paradoxically, the cross is spoken of as the power of God. To people in the Ancient Near East, the cross was a symbol of weakness. The powerful were less likely to be crucified. However, Jesus did a reversal and turned something weak into something powerful.
As we seek to grow stronger in our spiritual journey, we necessarily have to go to the cross to crucify our sins that so easily beset us. The cross is open to all who are seeking a closer walk with God. We must be willing to crucify our fleshly desires daily to please God. Without the crucifixion, there cannot be redemption and salvation.
The Romans had been using crucifixion for many years before Christ to instill fear and to punish their enemies. Roman citizens were not allowed to be crucified because death on a cross was too shameful. From the Roman authority’s perspective, the crucifixion of Jesus was just an ordinary execution of a criminal. What they did not know is that the Jesus they hung on that rugged cross was Savior of the world who used the cross as an instrument of redemption.
During my devotion this morning, the Lord invited me to the cross so I can crucify my flesh. He reminded me the life that I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20). Therefore, I gladly bring all my sins to the cross so they can be crucified.
Too many followers of Christ are allowing their past failures to hinder their present relationship with God because they refuse to go to the cross to crucify those failures. The songwriter says, “At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light and the burden of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith I received my sight and now I am happy all the day.” There is power and deliverance at the cross. We can bring our burdens, failures, addictions, diseases, depression, and dysfunction to the cross so they can be crucified. Then we will receive mercy and grace in our time of need.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for the victory we have in the crucified Christ. Please help us to crucify our sins at the cross so we can live in victory through Christ Jesus.