"We Preach Christ Crucified"
Paul said, “We preach Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:23). “Christ crucified”. . .
Expresses God’s love. Divine love is not mere philosophical or theological speculation; it is real. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). If He did that, how much more will He do? (8:32)!
Reflects the heinousness of sin. Our sin separates us from God. Forgiving it is no small matter for Him: He cannot rightly just dismiss it. His solution? We are “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness . . .” (Romans 3:24-25a).
Prices salvation. Salvation cost God His Son. It cost Jesus His life. Does it make sense that it costs us nothing? Actually, in one sense that is true: it is a free gift (Romans 6:23). In another sense salvation costs us the same price Jesus paid: giving up self. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1, NKJV). Discipleship requires that.
Prepares us for rejection. If the world crucified the only perfect man who ever lived, we surely cannot expect better treatment as His followers. “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20).
Demonstrates God’s ability to keep His promises. Jesus’ crucifixion was part of God’s eternal plan (1 Peter 1:19-20). Old Testament events foreshadowed it. The prophets predicted it, at times in detail (e.g., Psalm 22; Isaiah 53). Ironically, people who regularly listened to the Scriptures were the ones who fulfilled them by crucifying Him (Acts 13:27).
Allays our fears. People fear death. Jesus died “that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Hebrews 2:14-15). We fear divine judgment, too. And while the Bible tells us to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12), it also assures us, “Abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming” (1 John 2:28).