Holy Tuesday Meditation
Text: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
This is the week of the cross. We call it “holy week” because it is the week wherein our holiness is accomplished, by Jesus, on the cross. The week that starts with Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey, and ends with Him nailed to a cross. The week that starts with shouts of Hosanna, and ends with mocking and taunting and scorn. The week that starts with people rejoicing that Jesus raised a four-day-dead Lazarus from the tomb, and ends with that same Jesus lying dead in His own.
In this, the world sees a movement gone horribly wrong and brought to defeat. The might and full force of the Roman government crushing its opponent and re-exerting its power and dominance. But the world does not always have 20-20 vision, and here it does not see rightly. For this week we call holy has not, in fact, gone horribly wrong, but exactly right. It ended not in defeat, but in victory. And it was not the Roman government crushing its opponent, but God crushing ours, showing His power, and winning for us a kingdom not of this world. This week started - and ended - exactly as planned.
That’s stupid, foolish, a fantasy, the world says. You can call it whatever you want, but we know the truth, the debater of this age replies.
But they don’t know the truth, because they do not know Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). And not knowing Him, they are blinded to what really took place this week. Their wisdom cannot grasp, their eyes cannot see, the hidden reality. That God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are.
Or in other words, that the cross . . . is the power of God.
The world doesn’t know that, not only because they don’t know Christ, but also because they don’t know our enemy. There’s a lot of talk in politics these days about knowing and naming the enemy so that you can defeat them. Well, in the same way, we must know our enemy. That we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). Our enemy is satan, and his weapons are sin and death.
You can try to go against him with your wisdom, but you will lose. You can try to go against him with your might, but you will lose. There is only one weapon that can bring him down, and that is the cross. The cross, where Jesus atoned for our sin. The cross, where Jesus died to defeat death. And so the cross which stripped satan of all his power over us. The foolish and weak cross, which turned out to be the wisdom and power of God. Jesus knew the enemy, and won for you. Yet even more than that - He won not just for you; He won you.
Which is the other foolish thing God did. He chose you. For, as St. Paul said, consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose . . . you. He chose you to be His child. The world could come up with millions of people more worthy than you and worth more than you, and so how foolish that He chose you! But a blind world is blind to God’s love as well. Love which is never deserved, only given. Love, which if you want to earn, you will never have. But love which in your weakness, sinfulness, and shame you could never earn, you will always have.
That’s a stumbling block to the world, to those who want to be something and do it themselves. But to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.
So we preach Christ crucified. This week and every week. For He is our wisdom and strength, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. And we will boast in nothing else.
In the Name of the Father and of the Son (+) and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.