“The Message of the Cross”

The Third Sunday in Lent (B)
“The Message of the Cross”
March 4, 2018

Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 1:18–31

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

So this whole idea that from nothing, God created everything that is… everything that exists. It is all the work of His hands.

This whole idea that the creation of the entire universe, our solar system, this planet and all things on this planet came to be by the Word of God over just six natural, normal days.

This whole idea that man was created from the dust of the earth and that God breathed into him the breath of life.

This whole idea that God gave to the man… a woman… whom He formed from one of the man’s ribs.

This whole idea that the man and the woman lived in this beautiful garden and had all things good and pleasing.

This whole idea that they ate of the forbidden fruit, that which God told them that if they eat it, they will surely die.

This whole idea of a devil existing, known as Satan, coming to the man and woman, and tempting them, lying to them, in order that they might transgress God’s commandment.

This whole idea that in that one act of disobedience, paradise was lost not only for the man and woman, but all of their offspring… that sin had entered the world and with it… death and the eternal sentence of hell.

This whole idea that right there and then, God promised a savior, mankind’s Messiah, who would be born of the seed of the woman.

This whole idea that in the fullness of time, God’s time, He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to be our savior… that God the Father willingly offered up His Son as the one perfect sacrifice for our sins and that of all mankind… every human being who has ever lived or will live.

This whole idea that Jesus the Christ, the true Son of God begotten of the Father before all worlds and also the true Son of Man, born of the Virgin Mary (yes, you heard right… “virgin”) indeed, died for every man, woman, teenager, child and baby. And what is more, He died on a cross.

This whole idea that there, on the cross, God Himself died for all of mankind and that three days later rose again from the dead, is alive and glorified. That He ascended into heaven and now rules over all things in heaven and on earth from whence He will soon return to earth in all glory, with legion upon legion of angels, to judge the living and the dead.

This whole idea that all the faithful… all who believe, confess, cling to and live Christ Jesus as their lord and savior… will spend eternity with their Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirt – and all the saints in heaven forever. And that all who do not believe… all who live in sin and in disobedience to God’s Word, God’s Commandments, God’s ways… will spend eternity suffering in hell.

Would you follow along as I read again God’s Word in 1st Corinthians?

18For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.

 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

I have no more to say. What more is there to say? God has said it all. Let those “who have ears to hear… hear.” Let all who have hearts and minds opened by the wonderful and gracious work of the Holy Spirit, take all of this in… consider it and embrace it.

What takes place in our lives here on earth and where we will spend eternity is all laid out here… for you… for me… in God’s Word… in the message of the cross! What more is there to say? Amen.

May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, unto life everlasting. Amen.

“The Message of the Cross”  3/4/18  The Rev. Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL