The Offence of the Cross
Daily Devotional for October 20th
I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. Galatians 5:10-11
Is the cross offensive to you? When you view it, does it trouble you? If so, then great, because it should. It is actually meant to destroy man’s confidence in himself. It is offensive for a number of reasons. The cross of Jesus offends because it demands that we confront the hopelessness of ourselves. No one wants to accept this truth. We all want to say that we are good; that we haven’t been so wickedly that it required the Son of God to die on a cruel cross in our place.
Some people refuse to mention sin. This is problematic. Sin is the same as a cancer. Once it has entered, it will not stop until it has destroyed everything. None of us would allow cancer to destroy our bodies without a fight. Many people face the horrible procedures of surgery in hopes that the cancer can be stopped. Why do we not view sin the same?
Paul explained here that circumcision preaching would put an end to the offense the cross would bring. Circumcision, which is the term used to describe abiding under law, is man’s attempt at showing how good he is. Although no man could ever measure up to God’s standard by keeping the law, man only sees the successes of his faithfulness to the law. The law boasts what man can do.
The truth is, the cross will naturally offend the world. The cross declares to the entire world how far it falls short of God’s standard of holiness. It also displays the ferociousness our sin had caused because no other illustration could convey it. Sin is deceitful. We tend not to see how exceeding sinful and wicked that sin is and the decaying effects it brings. When I view sin without the cross, I see no evil; no nausea. But the cross reveals how vile my sin is. Sin is rotten to the core. The cross displays the only remedy; the only answer for sin.
The cross goes to the very heart of man’s problem; the problem of self. Self desires to boast in pride of its accomplishments. But at the cross, man’s pride is null and void. Man sees no good in himself because he sees what his life did to the Son of God. We do not want to accept the fact that our entire eternity rests at the cross and not in our own hands. The cross demands that we accept that there is only one remedy to sin and it does not lie within us; only in the sacrifice Jesus made at the cross.