Summary: 1- The offense of the cross 2- The preaching of the cross 3- The priority of the cross
INTRO.- ILL.- Since 1710, the skyline of London has been dominated by the soaring dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral. On the top of the dome is a cross. So it is fair to say that for nearly 300 years there has been a cross on the roof of London! That is one way to say that Christ is above all!
ILL.- When peace was made between Argentina and Chile, they melted down the cannons of war and made a statue of Christ holding high a cross. They mounted it on the high-ranging mountains of the Andes that separate the two countries. The Christ of the Andes. In a sense, there is a cross on the roof of South America. It says that Christ is above all even though some of them don’t believe it.
ILL.- When Sir Edmund Hillary became the first person to scale Mt. Everest, he took with him to the world’s highest mountain a crucifix. He left it there among the clouds of that snowy peak. In a sense, there is a cross on the roof of the world! That is a symbolic way of saying that Christ is above all!
ILL.- I have read that the Pittsburgh, PA, airport is a very busy place and one of the best equipped in the nation. Two seconds in flying time from the airport and in direct line with one of its busiest runways is the steeple of Union Church.
The minister of that church said, “Ever since the terminal opened planes have buzzed the belfry like bees after honey. It got so bad that low-flying jets turned our Sunday evening services into sudden prayer meetings.”
The church was reluctant to have their steeple carried away by some careless pilot. So what did they do? THE CHURCH TOPPED THEIR STEEPLE WITH AN EIGHT-FOOT, NEON-LIGHTED CROSS.
The church is on the highest point near the airport and the lighted cross can be seen at night by planes all the way from the Ohio border. One of the pilots made this interesting comment regarding the lighted cross, “MOST OF US ARE USING IT AS A GUIDE TO THE FIELD.”
Brothers and sisters, the cross of Christ is also a guide for all who seek to know God. We have to go by way of the cross if we are going to find God, know God and have a relationship with Him. The way of the cross leads to God and to our eternal home in heaven.
John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” What name? The name of Jesus.
Jesus Christ is above all. His name is above all. His way is above all. His forgiveness is above all. His peace is above all. His salvation is above all. His salvation is eternal.
ILL.- Someone wrote these pertinent words about Christ. “Not one recognized religious leader—as Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed—ever claimed to be God. Jesus is the only person who has ever convinced a great portion of the world that He is God.
“This claim can either be true or false. If false, Jesus either knew His claims were false and He lied, or He was deluded and a lunatic.
“If Jesus knowingly lied, he was the world’s greatest hypocrite and a charlatan of the worse kind. He would also be the greatest fool, for what person would die for a lie?
“If Jesus was deluded, how could His precepts help so many people for so long a time? His critics and enemies had nothing but the highest accolades on His character.
“There is no other choice. Either Jesus is a liar, a lunatic, or He is Lord of lords.”
Brothers and sisters, Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God. He is the only Savior of the world. He is the Lord of lords.
PROP.- Now let us consider several more thoughts about the cross of Christ.
1- The offense of the cross
2- The preaching of the cross
3- The priority of the cross
I. THE OFFENSE OF THE CROSS
Gal. 5:11 “Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.”
When Paul preached Christ and Him crucified he offended the Jewish population. In fact, he probably offended many other people since they did not believe in Christ nor were inclined to believe in Him. THE SAME IS TRUE TODAY. Even in so-called “Christian” America.
ILL.- Some years ago I was a member of the River to River Running club of southern Illinois. Every year in January they had an annual banquet to honor certain runners in the club. The meal was the first thing on the program, however. The club was made up of all kinds of people in regard to faith: Jews, Christians of various denominations (Catholic and protestant), Baptist, Lutheran, Christian Church, etc. and some who didn’t believe in anything. Nevertheless the board agreed to have a prayer before the meal.