The Wondrous Cross

TEXT1 Cor. 1:17-24; Isa. 53.

INTRODUCTION:

A.      CROSS, stauros, a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (specifically) a pole or cross (as an

          instrument of capital punishment) – Strong.  Found 28 times in the New Testament.

B.      CRUCIFY COMES FROM THE SAME GREEK ROOT. 44 times in the New Testament.

C.      NOT USED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.

          1.       Several mentions of men being hanged on "trees"

                   ( Gen. 40:19;  Deut. 21:22,23;  Josh. 8:29;  10:26-27;  Esth. 2:23 ).

          2.       The cross of Christ is also referred to as a tree.

                   ( Acts 5:30;  10:39;  13:29;  Gal. 3:13;  1 Pet. 2:24 ).

D.      DIFFERENT TYPES OF CROSSES USED IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD.

          1.       The Latin cross that we commonly know and accept.

          2.       The cross shaped like a T.

          3.       And the one shaped like an X.

          4.       Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that Jesus was impaled on a straight pole.

          5.       Though the Latin version is most widely accepted, some have seen fit to debate it.

I.      WHAT ABOUT THE CROSS?

A.      THE CROSS HAS BEEN SUBJECT OF SPECULATION AND SUPERSTITION.

          1.       Crucifixes have become a religious icon with power attributed to wearing them.

                   a.       Symbols of religious orders.

                   b.       Talismans to ward off evil and performing exorcisms.

                   c.       Reminders of religious duty and objects of worship.

                   d.       Popular jewelry made of gold, silver and precious stones.

          2.       Crosses have adorned public places and homes the world over.

                   a.       Again, objects of worship.

                   b.       Symbols of holiness and piety.

                   c.       Substitutes for holy living and devotion to Jesus, which are often missing.

                   d.       Controversial politically.

          3.       Is it appropriate for Christians to wear crucifixes or erect them in their homes?

                   a.       The danger of idolatry ( 1 Cor. 10:14;  1 Thess. 5:22 ).

                   b.       The danger of a bad example ( 1 Cor. 8:9-13;  10:24-33 ).

                   c.       If it is not good for the individual, what about crosses all over the church?

B.      IN THE SCRIPTURES, THE CROSS IS MORE THAN JUST THE FURNITURE ON

          WHICH JESUS WAS KILLEDTHERE ARE TWO SIDES OF THE CROSS.

          1.       The text that we are using, 1 Cor. 1:17-24, is not dealing with the instrument upon

                   which Christ died, but is dealing with the plan of salvation.

          2.       In the cross we see the agony of Jesus’ death, and the treachery of his enemies.

          3.       In the cross we also see the joy of our salvation and redemption from sin.

          4.       In both sides of the cross we see the matchless love of God.

II.     WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDEROUS CROSS.

A.      ON ONE SIDE I SEE:

          1.       A Curse – ( Deut. 21:23;  Gal. 3:13 ).

          2.       Reproach – ( Heb. 11:26;  13:12,13 ).

          3.       Offense – ( 1 Cor. 1:23;  Gal. 5:11 ).

          4.       Suffering – ( Matt. 16:21;  17:12;  1 Pet. 4:1 ).

          5.       Shame – ( Heb. 12:2;  6:6 ).

B.      THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CROSS, I SEE:

          1.       Cure – ( Jer. 8:20-22;  Matt. 9:10-13 ).

          2.       Redeemed – ( Gal. 3:13;  Eph. 1:7;  Heb. 9:12;  1 Pet. 1:18-19 ).

                   a.       Two words:

                             - lutroo,"to release by paying a ransom price, to redeem" – Vine.

                             - exagorazo, “denotes ‘to buy out’ (ex for ek), especially of purchasing a slave

                                       with a view to his freedom.” – Vine.

                   b.       From whom are we redeemed, to whom is the ransom paid?

                             - God is the administrator of justice ( Psa. 7:11-13;  Heb. 10:30-31 ).

                             - Therefore, justice is paid through him, he receives the ransom ( Psa. 49:7 ).

          3.       Offering – ( Heb. 9:14, 28;  10:10-14 ).

          4.       Sanctification – ( 1 Cor. 1:30, 2;  Eph. 5:25-27;  Heb. 13:12 ).

          5.       Salvation – ( Heb. 5:8-9 ).

CONCLUSION:

A.     GOD WOULD HAVE US SEE BOTH SIDES OF THE CROSS.

          1.       In the suffering of the Savior we see his great love for us.

          2.       In the sacrifice he offered there we see our redemption from sin.

B.      WHAT DOES THE CROSS MEAN TO YOU?

          1.       Salvation is not to be found in crucifixes.

          2.       Salvation is in the Word of the Cross ( 1 Cor. 1:18 ).

          3.       It may be shameful foolishness to some, but to us, the cross is the power of God

                   ( 1 Cor. 1:18, 23-24 ).