Summary: Three reasons why some like the Roman soldiers on the hill at calavry are still umoved by the cross.
“Unmoved By The Cross”
The Impact of The Cross – Part One
Two men had indulged in every sinful activity imaginable while away on a business trip together. In the morning as they were making their way to the airport, one man challenged the other, he said, “I dare you to go over to that Cathedral over there and confess everything you did last night to the priest. I ‘ll bet you $100 you can’t do that, it would give the priest a heart attack.”
The other man said, “easy money, I’ll do it with ease.” He walked into he Cathedral and went into the confessional and began with, “Father forgive me for I have sinned.” And then in graphic detail he told of every escapade of the night before.
But the priest being very perceptive was able to discern the insincerity of the man’s confession. He said, “Son, your penance will be to walk to the front of the Cathedral and kneel before the life size statue of Jesus dying on the cross. And I want you to look into the suffering face of the savior and I want you to say, “Jesus, all this you did for me, and I couldn’t care less.”
The man came out laughing from the confessional booth demanding the $100 from the bet. But his friend said, “Oh no it’s not complete yet, not until you do your penance.” “I’ll do it he said, it’s no big deal.”
So he stood in front of the cross – and flippantly said, “Jesus all this you did for me and I…..” And just then the teachings of his childhood came back to him, something he had heard and learned echoed in his mind and it was John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not die, but have eternal life.”
He cleared his throat and tried again, “Lord Jesus, all this you did for me….” AND then he burst into tears and fell on his face and repented for his sins…
Listen there is an awesome power about the cross of Christ. Jesus said, “But I when I am lifted up from the earth , will draw all men to myself.” Jn 3:16
It is at the cross that sinners are convicted; the arrogant are humbled; the hardened are broken, the skeptic convinced, the weak strengthened and the repentant forgiven.. Max Lucado in his book No Wonder They Call Him Savior, says of the cross;
The cross rests on the time line of history like a compelling diamond. Its tragedy summons all sufferers. Its absurdity attracts all cynics. It’s hope lures all searchers…
My what a piece of wood! History - has idolized it and despised it; gold plated it and burned it; worn it and trashed it. History has done everything to it but ignore it.
That’s the one option that the cross does not offer. No one can ignore it! You can’t ignore a piece of lumber that suspends the greatest claim in history. A crucified carpenter claiming that he is God on earth? Divine? Eternal? The death-slayer?
Paul wrote the following words in 1 Cor 1:18;
“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…”
Circle – the message of the cross if foolishness…
Now a crucified Savior might not sound unusual to us, but for a Jew in Paul’s day – it was a total contradiction of terms. It is like saying “icy cold flames or hot ice.” It would be like calling a pizza place and asking for a small large pizza or asking for a meat lovers vegetarian pizza. A crucified Messiah defied all Jewish reasoning. Every hope they had in a Messiah was a strong and powerful king coming to defeat their enemies. They wanted powerful conquering hero and instead they got a stumbling block.. Yes to the Jewish mind the cross was a contradiction and to the Roman mind a crucified God was just plain ridiculous
A cartoon has been found in the ruins of ancient Rome showing how crazy the Christian message seemed to the people of that time. It’s a caricature of Jesus’ crucifixion, showing a man’s body hanging on a cross – but the body has a head of a donkey. Standing to left of this cross is a man with his hands raised in worship. Underneath is the inscription, “he worships his God!”
Listen - some people today still believe that the cross is foolishness. One well known example is Ted Turner, years ago he told the Dallas Morning News that Christianity is a religion for losers. He said, “I’ve had a few drinks and a few girlfriends, and if that’s gonna put me hell, then so be it.” According to many today like Ted Turner only losers would put their faith in a Savior who lost his own life – being executed like as a criminal.