LENT: Day 16 - Jesus Christ, And Him Crucified
Saturday, March 3 2018
We have come to Day 16 of Lent – and we are almost halfway through our 40-day pilgrimage towards Holy Week. In these first 15 days of reflecting that have gone by, I have realized that there are so many ideas and topics that I could be writing about. In which way should I direct my thoughts and messages? Should I speak about this? Should I write about that? And I pray: “Holy Spirit, enlighten me so that I might understand what I ought to be meditating on, so that I might know in which direction to orientate our Lenten reflections.”
And so, in the past few days I have been thinking a lot about the Apostle Paul’s words to the believers in Corinth when he said to them: “When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
Paul, with all his studies and with all his oratory, determined not to preach anything except a crucified Saviour. He could have spoken about so many valuable topics relating to God and our lives as human beings. But he resolved to know nothing except Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross, because he clearly understood that there is no more fundamental and transcendent subject matter in the universe. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
Besides, Paul knew that the strength of his preaching and teaching was not due to his eloquence or superior wisdom, or his wise and persuasive words – instead, the impact of his proclamation was due to the demonstration of the Holy Spirit and His power. Only so would his testimony about God reach the hearts of his listeners. In his weakness and fear and much trembling, the power of the Spirit of Christ within him would shine through all the more. Just as God declared to him later on in 2 Corinthians 12:9 = “… My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And to which Paul affirmed: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
For this reason, I believe and feel that our Lenten reflections ought to be pointing more and more to Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. For this reason, I think and pray and write with fear and trembling, so that our faith might not rest on the wisdom of men, but on God’s power.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16,17) “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:16)
The book He Loves Me says about Jesus Christ and Him crucified: “It is so important to understand the death of Jesus on the cross as an act of love for you, and not just as an act of satisfying the righteousness of God … The door of access to the love of the Father begins at the cross. Seeing what the Father and the Son accomplished together at that moment of climax defines love in a way that you can only experience in Him … Then you will discover that life in God begins with your security in His love, and not with your insecurity that you do not love Him enough.”
Dear friends: in the next 24 days of Lent, may we concentrate our gaze and our meditations on Jesus Christ, and Him crucified – may our understanding of the Son of God’s sacrifice of righteousness and love on the cross grow ever deeper, may it capture and captivate us, and may it transform us “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). Amen.
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