March 02, 2011

Christ Crucified

1 Corinthians 1:20-25

We preach Christ crucified: … Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:23-24


By the end of this month we will be in the Lenten season. The word Lent derives from a Middle English word that means “springtime”—but this doesn’t mean Lent is a celebration of the annual renewal of nature caused by the tilt of the world’s axis. No, Lent is a celebration of the renewal of human life caused by the grace of God.

I use the word celebration guardedly here, because Lent is not a joyful dance around a Maypole. It is rather a season of solemn reflection and serious repentance that leads to spiritual renewal. It’s the time when we remember that such renewal depends on Christ crucified.

People outside of the Christian faith may wonder how we can celebrate a gruesome death that happened 2,000 years ago. It does sound ghoulish, unless Paul is right in 1 Corinthians 1, where he says that Christ is “the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

As we focus this month on the power and wisdom of God in the cross of Christ, our goal should be not merely to explain those mysterious ideas but also to apply the reality of God’s power and wisdom to our daily lives.

Even as the renewal of nature in spring depends on the tilt of the earth, so the renewal of our spiritual lives depends on the cross.

O crucified Christ, help us to experience the joy and peace of renewal that flows from your cross for our sake. Amen.

About the author — Stanley Mast

Beginning in 1971, Rev. Stanley Mast has served churches in Missouri, Colorado, and Michigan. After teaching at Calvin Theological Seminary for a few years, he was the minister of preaching at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, until his retirement in 2012. Stan and his wife, Sharon, enjoy time with their two sons and five grandchildren.

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