The epistle for Holy Cross Day is I Corinthians 1:18-21. In verse 23 Paul writes, “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.” What kind of god would save people through the cruelty of a crucifixion? Really? It’s ridiculous.
However, for us who believe in the foolish and bloody crucifixion of Jesus, the cross speaks volumes about God who always seems to pick the most difficult means of accomplishing his purpose. Wouldn’t it have been easier and more popular to have a superhero savior who at the last minute freed himself from the cross, pulled it out of the ground and used it to pulverize his enemies? Wouldn’t Communion be more appealing with a cup of coffee and a crème filled chocolate covered doughnut? Wouldn’t it be more appealing to hear that deep down inside we’re all okay after all?
But God has made the cross the thing. In a display of foolishness and weakness God showed his power and wisdom through Christ crucified. An instrument of death is become an instrument of life.
The psalm for the Day, Psalm 98, is also a psalm used at Christmas and Easter. The psalm has it right, “Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.”
Merciful God, your Son, Jesus Christ, was lifted high upon the cross that He might draw all people to Himself. Grant that we who glory in His death for our redemption may faithfully heed His call to bear the cross and follow Him, one God, now and forever.