The Centrality of the Cross
1 Corinthians 2:2
In August 2003, New York City's Church of the Holy Cross was broken into twice. First, a metal moneybox next to a votive candle rack was stolen. Three weeks later vandals got away with something far more valuable: a statue of Christ. The thieves unbolted the 4-foot long, 200-pound plaster Jesus from a meditation area, but they left the wooden cross on the wall.
David St. James, a caretaker of the church, was amazed that someone would try to take Jesus without also taking His cross. He stated, "They just decided, 'We're going to leave the cross and take Jesus. We don't know why they took just Him. We figure if you want the whole crucifix, you take the whole crucifix.'"
Mr. St. James raises a great point. To take Jesus and to leave the cross is to miss the whole of who Jesus is. Jesus' entire life and ministry was consumed with the cross. His passion was to do the will of His father and to ultimately die on the cross for the sins of humanity. The cross is the crux of Jesus' story. This was also the core of Paul's preaching. In 1 Cor 2:2 Paul summed up his preaching ministry when he wrote, "For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." The word translated "I determined" means Paul made a conscious choice to do things a certain way. He didn't fall into it by chance or by force of habit. Paul preached as he did because he chose to do it that way. For Paul the choice was clear: "Jesus Christ and Him crucified." He started there and that became the center of his preaching.
My purpose this evening is to demonstrate the centrality of the cross throughout the whole of Scripture. God stitched His Word together with a scarlet thread. After His resurrection, Luke 24 records that Jesus appeared to two of His disciples on Easter evening. He reminded them that everything written about Him in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled. He then opened ...
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