The embarrassing cross

The cross stands as an embarrassment! If I proclaim a God of power it is embarrassing that my God was taken to a cross and executed. If I expect the Lord to bring physical and emotional wholeness then I am embarrassed by the physical torture and emotional abuse He endured. If I look to Scripture for wisdom, I am embarrassed by Jesus’ foolish decision to go to Jerusalem where everyone warned that He would die. I am part of a disciple making ministry, focusing on whole of life discipleship. The cross then is embarrassing because it cut short The Incarnation: God with us, for only three short years.

These spiritual pathways are good, but whichever way we approach God, the cross stands as a stark contrast. Paul wrote, ‘Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.’ (1 Corinthians 1:22-23 NIV) It is easy to miss the point of the cross and lift up the spiritual pathway God has used to transform my life. When I do this I miss the greatness of God in the narrowness of that pathway. Paul continues, ‘For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.’ (1 Corinthians 1:25 NIV). How often God uses the fumbling efforts of a young Christian, while the polished wisdom of the godly fails. My spiritual pathway kneels before the cross as powerless. God alone gives life.

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