March 31

“When I came to you, brothers, [I] did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

I had an errand to do today at Target, so I did it first thing this morning. The cashier was apparently very friendly, as he was quite engaged with the customer in front of me, although I was far enough away from them that I couldn’t hear their conversations. (Those shopping carts in Target are huge.) When it was my turn to check out we exchanged pleasantries, and it went kind of like this:

Cashier: Good morning.

Me:   Hi, how are you?

Him: “Fine, how are you?”

Me: “I’m great! We’re celebrating the day that Christ turned the world upside down.”

Him: “What? What happened?”

Me: “Jesus was crucified and turned the meaning of life completely upside down.”

Him: “When did that happen?”

Me: “About 2,000 years ago, although for some people, it will happen today (or something like that—not my best doctrinal statement.)

Him: “Oh, I thought you were talking about something that happened today.”

Me: “Well, for some people, their lives will be turned upside down today because when Christ died for our sins, we live differently.”

Him: “Oh, I usually just talk about the weather or the news with people.”

Ok, so I didn’t do a great job of relating my awe and wonder over the crucifixion to the young man, but at least I may have given him food for thought. Now I’m reflecting on our passage, along with Galatians 6:14, “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” At least I spoke about the one crucial thing: Christ crucified. I credit the Holy Spirit for my focus (but maybe not my wording, or lack of forethought). Like Paul, Christians have experiential knowledge of Jesus crucified and raised, and like him, this should be the subject that most delights us, even to the dismay of the world.

Paul was convinced that the only subject worthy of his preaching and writing was Jesus Christ crucified, as a new creation in him, who cared nothing for the world, which was crucified to him. I may have been in Target, but I thank God for my focus on Christ. My weakness in expressing the glory of the cross can be used by Jesus to draw that young man to faith. May it be so. Will you be focused on the cross of Christ today, even in weakness? Will the world be crucified to you today?

 

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