Tuesday, November 20, 2012

And There They Crucified Him

By Dwaine Powell

Everywhere you turn, the cross of Jesus Christ was there in Paul's life. It was central in his teachings and it was the core of his life. Nothing mattered more than the cross. When the Christians would gather together, the cross of Jesus was there. And when they left, the cross would follow them. Paul made us aware of the "beauty" of that cross. What better way could you describe the love of God demonstrated, he would tell the Christians in Rome. He also made us aware of the challenge the cross brings to our lives. "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and have himself for me." (Galatians 2:20) This was the essence of his life, and the essence fo life for all who cherish the old rugged cross.

However, it is alarming at how the cross of Jesus is not central to our lives. I am not talking about our assembly. Our songs, our prayers, our reflection around the Lord's Table, the messages that are brought, all have the cross of Jesus in plain view. I'm talking about afterwards when we leave and go our separate ways. Does the cross of Jesus follow you home? Does it impact your marriage, your family, your relationship with your roommates? Is the cross of Jesus present at your workplace? Is it next to you in the classroom? How about on the lake, the golf course, or the battlefield? Is the cross of Jesus central in your every day life? Does it govern your thoughts? Does it shape your behavior? Are you crucified with Christ? Like Paul, is the cross of Jesus Christ the central core of your life?

If the cross is not present outside of our assembly, it is we who have hauled it out of sight. It is we who must restore it to the central place it deserves. The following piece by George MacLeod conveys a firm conviction that, hopefully, you possess.

I simply argue that the cross be raised again

at the center of the market place
as well as on the steeple of the church,
I am recovering the claim that
Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral
between two candles,
But on a cross between two thieves;
on a town garbage heap;
at a crossroad of politics so cosmopolitan
that they had to write His title
in Hebrew and in Latin and in Greek ...
And at the kind of place where cynics talk smut,
and thieves curse and soldiers gamble.
Because that is where He died,
and that is what He died about.
And that is where Christ's men ought to be,
and what church people ought to be about.


The Friendly Visitor
, the weekly bulletin of the Auburn Church of Christ, Auburn, AL; June 5, 1997, p. 1. 

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