Why The Cross, Why The Tomb?
“In the current environment of political correctness at any cost, the idea of a “bloody Gospel” offends many people. A majority of Americans describe themselves as spiritual, even believers; yet the same number reject the idea of a blood sacrifice for the sins of the world. Why? I believe there are many different reasons, but I think they all stem from the overall problem with sin. Sin is out of style, if you will; yet it was sin that took a Savior to the cross. Not His sin, but mine. A death like no other yielded a victory unlike any other.
The cross is offensive not just to many of our generation, but it was equally (maybe even more) repugnant to the generation of Jesus’ day. Crucifixion was a death reserved for the lowest of the low. A person of stature never ended up on a cross. Certainly not a King or a Savior. No, this was reason enough for the intellects of the day to reject the death of Jesus as anything more than a solution to the problem of this troublemaker from Galilee. Yet the greatest mind of the day, the Apostle Paul, continued to “glory in the cross.” What was foolishness to everyone else was precious to Paul. The very symbol of a horrible death was now the very embodiment of Salvation. I’m glad for that and I, too, glory in the old, rugged cross. But it doesn’t end there! Having endured the nightmare of the cross, feeling the absolute weight of the world on His shoulders, experiencing even the forsaking of His Father, Jesus’ work was only half complete. The tomb was waiting.
I know you are all very busy. I’ve talked to people tonight who are getting ready for sunrise service and all kinds of special service for Easter 2005. I think it’s great, and I wish I were physically able to participate. But I want to remind you not to get so caught up with the demands on your time that you forget the reason that we celebrate this day in the first place. The cross was temporary and, thank God, so was the tomb! His Risen! Let those words be the foundation of everything you do, today and every day of your life! Through the sacrifice of Christ we, too, defeat death! We too become victors!
Why the cross, why the tomb? No one had ever defeated these two horrible things. They should have been the end of the story of Jesus. Should have been, but…
He is risen, His is risen indeed!”