Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Holy Evil Deed.

Although the works of God always seem unattractive and appear evil, they are nevertheless really eternal merits. The Heidelberg Disputation of Martin Luther. May 1518

Nothing can cause more controversy than the cross of Jesus. The unbelievers will say “What does that have to do with anything?” It is offensive. It is even offensive to many believers. In order to attract new members many churches have removed the cross from off buildings and from inside the sanctuary. These are crosses with no corpus. Imagine what these folk would think of a crucifix. They would say it is an idol and should not be allowed anywhere near a place of worship.

Genesis 3: 14 The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field;on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." ESV

Perhaps these pastors and those who listen to them and do not challenge these decisions are unaware that they are squarely in the devil’s camp. Even though the cross is horrible and the most heinous of deaths it is defeat of the devil. Our inner brat encouraged by our enemy will resist thinking on this as anything to do with our daily lives.

Yes it can offend the sensibilities of sinners. The dead Jesus shows to us the horribleness of sin. Oh how one loves to excuse it. “Sure I was unkind to that person but do you see how he or she treated me? I feel justified in my actions!” What a faith killer is a statement like that. A refusal to repent will of course open the door to further self justification. This has caused many to forsake finally the faith due to not thinking they need Jesus.

The cross indeed shows us plainly what our rebellion looks like to God. The smallest of sin in our eyes nailed Jesus to the tree. Not the earning of this salvation or the paying back for it constrains us to fight sin. Sin must be hated and resisted at all times out of love and gratitude toward Jesus for His great gift of Himself. When receiving His body and blood He delivers this to us in a real and tangible way. It is at once heart rending and glorious.

May the Name of Jesus evermore be praised. Amen †

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