Reading: 1 Corinthians 1 v17-18 & 22-25As part of Experience Easter, where we had the privilege to share the Easter story with children from Gayton and St. Georges' schools, Sue and her 'willing' helpers had arranged stations round the church at Newmount. Each station being an event in the last week of Jesus life on earth leading up to His crucifiction, e.g. Jesus washing the disciples feet; the last supper; in the Garden of Gethsemane; the Cross; and the Resurrection. Then allocated a leader to each station, we then awaited the children to appear. Sue had allocated me 'The Cross' that was positioned in front of the pulpit, with a table in the middle and chairs arranged round it. A Year 4 group approached the station, a very concerned and honest child asked me "I'm a Muslim can I touch those crosses?" Whether he thought the crosses had some mysterious power, and as a consequence of touching them he may be affected by them, I do not know. But the question he posed did cause me to think.
What power has the cross got?
In Paul's of 1 Corinthians 1 v17 he wrote "For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the gospel - not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power." The cross was a mystery to the Devil. He thought that with Jesus dieing on the cross, he had put to death God's one and only Son, and so won the final victory. In fact the opposite was true, by Jesus death and resurrection, Jesus had overcome the final hold the Devil had over us; death was defeated.
The cross is the central feature of the gospel message. Without it the Christian faith falls apart and would be powerless to save from all the wrong we have done, and continue to do. The sacrifice of Jesus demonstrated the price of sin being paid, the resurrection demonstrates that this price has been accepted by God the Father. This is the power of the cross - through the cross, we have new life in relationship with Jesus, with the promise of an eternity in heaven. The cross is a graphic reminder of Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death for us. Paul wrote in the following verse "For the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Cors 1 v18). Thank God the Cross has all the power we will ever need!!!
Song: The Power of the Cross - Stuart Townend
Living God, we come with joy and awe to the Cross, where we are met by your love, persistent and profound. We praise you for the mixture of joy and sorrow we feel as we look upon your cross, we consider the joy for your love which gave your Son to the world, and the sorrow for our sin which nailed him to the cross. We come therefore in awe and wonder, at the power that through your Son and his death on the cross and his resurrection, cancelled the debt for all our wrong, our sin, and made eternal life for each of us possible, what can we do but shout Glory! In Jesus name. Amen. Prayers for the People 8.15 altered