March 01, 2011

The Power of the Cross

1 Corinthians 1:10-18

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us … it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18


On March 30, 2010, an international team of scientists conducted a momentous experiment in a 17-mile tunnel beneath the Swiss-French border. Using the Large Hadron Collider, they sent two subatomic particles hurtling toward each other at unheard of speeds in conditions they claimed were similar to those just after the Big Bang. When those two protons collided, they produced an enormous explosion of energy. One ecstatic scientist, physicist Michio Kaku, declared, “This is a huge step toward unraveling Genesis 1:1—what happened at the beginning. This is a Genesis machine. It will help recreate the most glorious event in the history of the universe.”

When I read that, I immediately disagreed with Kaku, not just about science unraveling Genesis, but also about “the most glorious event in history.” Though the creation of the universe was glorious, I don’t think it can be described as “the most glorious event.” I think the redemption of God’s creation was far more glorious, because the collision of God’s love and justice on the cross of Christ unleashed a power that can redeem the cosmos.

In this month that includes the beginning of Lent we will explore together what may sound like a grandiose claim about the power of the cross: “to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

O glorious God, open us now to the power of the cross. Stun us with the most momentous event in history—the death of your own Son. 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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