Summary: This sermon uses the Dogwood tree as the illustration. It reminds us of the cross and Jesus.

Legend of The Dogwood Tree

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

19For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."

20Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age?

Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know

God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save

those who believe.

22For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;

23but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the

Greeks foolishness,

24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of

God and the wisdom of God.

25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of

God is stronger than men.

26For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.

27But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

28and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29that no flesh should glory in His presence.

30But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—

31that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD."

I have a new baby donkey.

His name is Ebenezer and he has the cross of Jesus on his back.

A few weeks ago, I told you the Legend of the Donkey Cross.

The Legend says that the same donkey

that carried Jesus into Jerusalem was standing near the cross.

When Jesus died, the sad little donkey turned to walk away.

At that very moment, the shadow of the cross fell upon his back

and from that day forward all donkeys from that line

have carried the cross of Jesus on their backs.

Today, I have another Legend to tell you.

Two thousand years ago, few trees in the Middle East were big enough to construct anything. However, one tree was valued above the others for its thick trunk and fine, strong wood. When the Romans came to rule over Jerusalem, their government used this same timber to build the crosses for executing criminals. A group of workers were assigned to gather wood for the crosses. Before long, every Roman official knew the best wood came from these gatherers of execution wood, so those workers became popular.

More of that story a little later!

Point #1.

The cross was necessary for salvation.

Eccles. 7:20

For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.

The greatest need we have is the need for forgiveness.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

We have all sinned.

We have all come short of the glory of God.

Sin separates us from God and each other.

The problem we have is sin.

Jesus’ death on the cross is God’s answer to our sin.

1 Peter 2:24-25

who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Forgiveness is possible only because of the shed blood of Jesus.

The message of the cross is the message of forgiveness.

It’s a message that people must hear.

The Apostle Paul – recognized the importance of the cross!

Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified

Atonement had to be made for our sins.

2 Cor. 5:21

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

One day, the wood gatherers received a special request. An officer of the Roman court came and said, "The King of Jews is to be put to death. Deliver an extra-large cross made from your finest wood." So, a fresh tree was cut from the forest of the trees with thick trunks and fine, strong wood. An extra-tall (and extra-heavy) cross was quickly made and delivered.

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