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February 1, 2018

The Power of The Cross

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV) 

Rene Lacoste was the world’s greatest tennis player in the late 1920s, and he won seven major titles including Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open. This Frenchman was called Le Crocodile by his friends to describe his aggressive style of championship tennis play. Lacoste loved the nickname, and so he started embroidering crocodiles on his tennis clothes. Then he started a line of shirts with a crocodile on them. People started calling them alligator shirts. The rest is history. The brand became so popular that people soon forgot what the logo represented in the first place. Instead of seeing it as a symbol of Lacoste’s tenacious championship tennis play, it became seen as a symbol of preppy fashion. They totally forgot the meaning of the logo. Could it be that we’ve become so familiar with the cross that we’ve lost all its meaning and, in losing its meaning, we’ve lost its power?

The Apostle Paul experienced the power of the cross in his life firsthand!  It radically transformed him from a persecutor of Christ followers to one himself.  He recognized the difference in how people view the cross.  To those who are perishing, he said the cross was foolishness!  The Greek word he used there means “madness” or “insanity.”  When you think about it for a moment, the cross is foolishness to a lost and dying world.  It’s a symbol of death and defeat.  How could a “victorious” faith ever be identified by such a logo?  The cross is for losers!  It’s true.  The cross is for losers like you and me!  It’s for people like me who need to lose their guilt and shame.  The cross has the power to turn losers into winners!  The cross has the power to redeem us and give us victory over the hurts, habits and hang-ups that keep us defeated and addicted.  It turns losers into winners – victorious Christ followers breaking the strongholds of sin and addition in our lives and setting us free!  That’s why Paul adds,

“… but to us who are being saved it is the power of God!”  1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV)

We live in a world that has forgotten the meaning of the cross.  We’ve turned it into a trinket of jewelry and lost the power that it truly represents and offers.  The word power that Paul uses in this passage is the Greek word “dunamis”, from which we get our English word “dynamite or dynamic!”  It is explosively transforming!  There is a “dynamic” to the cross that is life-changing!  It changed Paul’s life, and it will change yours!  If you need to lose the regrets of the past and the weight of guilt and shame for mistakes you’ve made, if you desire to break free from addictive habits that you know are destroying your life and relationships, look to the cross.  Experience the power of the cross that turns losers into winners!