Looking at the Cross
The way Christians look at the cross of Jesus is vastly different from the way the ungodly look at it. Paul sums it all up in these words, “It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For the Jews request a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:21-23). This is so far removed from the way saints see the cross.
Pagans look at the cross. Every god of every pagan was powerful—more powerful than any man. The very concept of deity being killed by mortals was beyond comprehension. As the early church brought the message of the cross to the entire world, it was foolishness.
Jews look at the cross. They were expecting the coming of the Messiah. Those who understood could see that God had promised to someday send a prophet, priest and king to live among them. With their view of the Messiah, the cross became a stumbling block. One does not have to submit to a king who is so helpless or listen to a mortal who claims to be a prophet. Jesus may have said, “You have heard that it was said, but I say to you…,” but who cares what Jesus said, for he is just a man claiming to be someone great. One cannot put their trust in a priest like Jesus to save them. What was said at the cross sums it up: “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God” (Luke 23:35).
Christians look at the cross. Read the rest of the words of Paul to the Corinthians. “We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” It is truly amazing how differently a pagan, a Jew and a Christian would hear the same sermon. What is the right view? Look at the cross through the eyes of God.
Built within God’s eternal plan is a weekly communion with Jesus at His table. As you remember Him every week, make sure you truly see who He is. Remember His body and His blood. As you remember Him every week, look at yourself—let a man examine himself. As you remember Him every week, see the future—proclaim His death until He comes.
God has no other message for mankind. The Jews asked for a sign and the only sign given was the cross. The Greeks sought wisdom, but the only wisdom God had for them was Christ crucified. We must never forget the cross and what happened there. A failure to look at the cross, to remember what happened for us, will result in us being “barren and unfruitful and blind” (2 Pet. 1:8-9). See the cross like God sees it!