Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. -1Peter 2:7
I forget that the message of the cross can be offensive, not necessarily to non believers, but to many believers themselves. I forget because the cross is the foundation of my faith and it doesn’t occur to me that some do not understand. So if someone says, “Christ died for you,” my response is likely to be “Hallelujah, God is good!”
In Christ there is no condemnation. He died to know us, while we were yet sinners. So when I think of the Rock, I think of the Rock that is higher than I, I think of salvation and redemption, I think of protection and provision. I think of how Christ gave His very life for me. He didn’t just “die,” He was executed, slowly tortured, He bore my sin for me, mine. That is an offensive message. It is also very convicting.
Sometimes I feel blessed to have not grown up in the church, to have come into the world in less than ideal circumstances, because I don’t carry the same burden of believing myself or others righteous. There are none righteous, not one. I never used to think of that as a burden, but I understand much better now. To have been a fairly decent person, to not fully comprehend sin, to never have faced morally impossible situations, how much harder it must be to fully grasp why Christ’s sacrifice was so necessary, to understand what He has done for you personally.
Many good people get there, many come to understand and they have actually taught me, but still others get left behind and it frustrates me because that is the meat and potatoes of faith. Without that relationship and connection with the cross, there is no sure foundation to build one’s faith upon.
Every single good thing within me, every good thing in my life, everything I am, comes from Christ’s work on the cross and His work within me. To feast on the Bread of Life one must be hungry, to fully appreciate Living Water, one must be thirsty. It is much harder to eat when you are not starving.
He is a rock of offense, He is a stumbling block, He is meant to be. He actually went to the cross for us, not for the bad people out there, but for us, and when we cannot internalize that message, our faith can sure get all messed up.
….but we preach Christ crucified to Jews, a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness.
-1 Corinthians 1:23