Thursday, June 2, 2016

Word for the day by Education Forum in India

Wisdom and Power of the Cross
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
 

Pradeep John
Connecticut Mar Thoma Congregation

18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
 
Cross is the most important and precious things in our church and on the altar. Today if we look around we see that the cross is an ornament, for some the cross has esthetic value, for some the cross is used to deceive others in the name of God, for some the cross is a shame and insult, for the Crusaders it was a weapon.  What is the Cross of Jesus to a true Christian?
Paul says “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Gal 6:14). For Christians the cross is the key to enter the heavenly kingdom. Making the sign of the Cross is a mark of Christian discipleship. Jesus said “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23). Sign of the cross is acknowledging the presence of Christ in our lives through good and bad times.
Cross is the bridge between God and Man: sin, which came into the world through Adam, separated man from His creator. The crucifixion of Jesus was God’s plan to redeem His people and give them eternal life. The vertical beam of the cross of Jesus symbolizes the intersection of heaven and earth. Jesus bore the sins of mankind and through His death on the cross Jesus saved us from the wrath of God. Cross directs the heart of man to God and makes man worthy to stand before the throne of Grace. For the ultimate sacrifice Jesus chooses the cross which was given to the worst of criminals, so to accept a Messiah who died on the cross was not easy for Jews. The concept of a free salvation through believing in Jesus and accepting the way of cross was foolishness to the Gentiles. For us Christians the Cross of Jesus should be the means for salvation and the path to eternal life.
Cross is a call for sacrificial love: “I asked Jesus, ‘How much do you love me?’ And Jesus said, ‘This much.’ Then He stretched out His arms and died.” The horizontal beam of the cross of Jesus symbolizes the love we should have towards other humans and our neighbors. Christ expects that we have the same love towards our brothers as He had shown us on the cross. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). When Jesus asks us the question “Where is your brother?” will our response be like Cain?  “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20).

PRAYER

Gracious and Loving Father, grant us wisdom to understand Your love for us on the cross and guide us to show the same love to our brothers. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
It is to the Cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his Master: no path of redemption can make a detour around it. - Hans Urs Von Balthasar