Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Cross - Offence or Wisdom?

by Malcolm Wood

12 February 2016

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We preach Christ crucified.
1 Corinthians 1:23, NLT

Sadly, it would seem that the symbol of the cross has been devalued these days, and just regarded as a lucky charm by so many. For those who’ve found salvation in Jesus, the cross is a reminder of how that salvation was won for them. The symbolism may be regarded differently by different people, but the truth is that the power of the cross and its effectiveness in the lives of true believers is just the same today as it’s always been - life changing.

As the apostle Paul found, the message of the cross will always cause offence to some, and be regarded as nonsense by others, ‘But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:24).

Whatever the opposition, Paul continued to fearlessly preach the politically incorrect message of the cross, and at times it cost him dearly. But, towards the end of his life, he could say with confidence ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful’, and then, with assurance, state ‘Now the prize awaits me - the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous judge will give me on that great day of his return’ (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

The message of the cross is so central to our very existence as Christians. As we look at the cross we see it’s like a jewel with many facets, each one a reminder. The cross is a reminder to us of God the Father’s love for each one of us (John 3:16), and the restored relationship which He wants us to enjoy with Him. This was made possible only through the cross. It’s the focal point of our salvation, where the price was paid for our redemption, the place where we were reconciled, and made right in God’s sight.

It’s a reference point, reminding us of our former condition, and how much we needed forgiveness and rescue from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. As citizens of this new kingdom we can take encouragement as we look afresh at the cross, and know that our destiny as servants of the King of kings is determined, and our destination, heaven, is assured.

Shouldn’t the effectiveness of all Jesus did for us be worked out in our lives day by day? Let’s never give up giving thanks for the cross and remembering all that Jesus did there for us as often as we can. Let’s endeavour all the time to appropriate the work of the cross in our lives, and with the Holy Spirit’s help become more like Jesus.

As we grow in Him let’s take up the challenge from the life, work and witness of Paul, and not shy away from uplifting the message of the cross wherever, whenever and however we can.

‘Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim, till all the world adore his sacred name’
(George Kitchen 1887).

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for cross. Thank You for the price You paid. Please help me to be a better witness for You. Amen.

Malcolm Wood and his wife Anna became part of the Ellel family as House Managers at Ellel Grange in 1990. Since then they have been involved with many aspects of the developing Ministry. From 2001 until 2015 they were Directors of Ellel Scotland where they hosted several International Schools and Operation Blairmore and helped pioneer the exciting Creative Inspiration Weeks. They have three sons.


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