Second Sunday of Lent: Signs and Wonders - "The Sign of The Cross"


The Season of Lent 

The Scriptures help us paint a picture of Lent that is filled with signs and wonders for those who are willing to see them.  They help tell the story of just how far God is willing to go to rescue those whom God loves.  

Today Is The Third Sunday of Lent 

We’re going to glimpse one of the central points of the Apostle Paul’s understanding of the Gospel and discover a new way of seeing the Cross. 

First, let me ask you a question.  Is The Cross More Than A Symbol?

I'm sure that most of us in here today would answer an emphatic "Of course!" but practically speaking, I wonder if we truly see it that way.  

There are crosses everywhere in our culture, and sometimes they are found in the most unlikely places.  

Strangest places to see a Cross 

What is behind the use of the Cross in so many different ways? Why do people who don't even really buy into Christianity find something compelling about them?  Use them as tattoos? Jewelry? Clothing? Art?

There’s something about it that’s more than a sign or a symbol

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS ISN’T A SYMBOL, IT’S SALVATION

We'll dig into this statement throughout this sermon, and we're also going to discuss what we mean when we say "salvation."  

But first, let's take a look at 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Background on Paul's letter to the church at Corinth:  Ancient Corinth, the City of Love, the church was experiencing divisions between haves and have-nots, Jews and Gentiles, you name it. 

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

Let’s talk grammar - present tense participles “perishing” “being saved”

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 

22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,

Jews & Greeks - Signs/Explanation, Law/Rhetoric 

23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

The logos of the Cross—Jesus’ life, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension

Leading a cruciform life—wisdom and power are found in a Cross 

The Cross is a sign that is more than a symbol, it’s not an end, but a beginning.  Salvation (rescue) is also a beginning and not an end.  

What Does It Look Like When We Are Being Saved
1. We grow—in faith, in wisdom, in every way that matters. 
2. We live—as Jesus would have us live, not some trumped-up pattern. 
3. We die—to ourselves and our notions about what is wise and powerful. 

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS ISN’T A SYMBOL; IT’S SALVATION

 

 



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