Tonight, Lord willing, the saints plan on gathering at, as my friend Garry likes to calls it, L-T-double-C. The plan is to sing a bit, read Scripture, respond with Scripture, and then eat and drink symbols of Someone’s death. In fact, even the songs and the Scripture are going to have a strong death theme to them. While tonight we intend to celebrate, I’m not anticipating much of a party atmosphere. Rather we’ll gather to consider the cross of Christ as we read and respond and reflect and remember. And, with the Spirit’s enabling, we will know afresh the power of God.
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. . . . For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
(1Corinthians 1:18, 22-24 ESV)
The cross is the power of God. Christ crucified is the dunamis, the force, the strength, the mighty and wonderful enabling. For those who have received and believed the truth that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”, His death on our behalf is the power that enables us to live for God.
Some try to “clean up the cross” and make it more attractive to modern sensibilities. Others try and deflect from the offense of the cross which speaks of the death of a Substitute for our sin, and focus instead on the attractiveness of a wonderful plan for our lives. But when all is said and done . . . when all is done and said . . . it is Christ crucified which “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith'” (Rom 1:16-17).
And in reflecting on the foolishness of the cross we find anew the foundation for our faith.
Sunday we will celebrate an empty tomb. He is risen! Because He lives I can face tomorrow! But tonight we’ll meditate on why that tomb was even used. We’ll know again that it was our sin and transgression that compelled the Son of God to cry from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” We’ll recall the price paid and the grace extended that speaks into the darkness, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” We’ll rejoice that our redemption is sure and that our salvation is nearer than when we first believed because of Calvary’s triumphant cry, “It is finished!”
By some people’s estimate it won’t be much of a party tonight at L-T-double-C. But there will be rejoicing. Some will think that a crucifixion is kind of dumb thing to give up a Friday night for and isn’t much cause for celebration. But there will be thanksgiving.
And when all is said and done, we’ll take the bread and drink the cup and proclaim once again the Lord’s death until He comes. Because it is the power of God . . . and because we know Sunday’s a comin’!
By His grace . . . for His glory.