First Loves – Week 4 // Nothing but the Cross // Pastor Kate Murphy

I resolved to know nothing among you except Christ, and Him crucified.

If I’m honest with you, I’m still learning to love the cross.  I understand that it is the holy center and the whole hope of life in Jesus–but I struggle to see it as beautiful.  Resurrection, I love.  Jesus feeding the hungry, blessing the children, casting out demons, forgiving sinners, walking on water, healing the sick, raising the dead: love, love, love, love, love, love, love.

But the cross is not easy to love–and yet scripture says what is on display on the cross is not the sinfulness of people or the wrath of God or the ruthless inevitability of suffering and death.  The witness of scripture is that on the cross (and only on the cross) we see the glory of God.  How can this be?

Even in the earliest days, there was a great danger that the church would be infiltrated by the values and lies of the culture.  That people who claim to be worshipping Jesus, when really they were worshipping the false gods of violence, wealth, nation and power.  From the very beginning, there was the danger that people would misunderstand who Jesus was and the nature of his kingdom.  Which is why Paul, earliest and most prolific church planter, had to begin reforming his churches even as he formed them.  He knew the best way to make sure that people put their hope and faith in Jesus was not simply to focus on Jesus–but to focus on ‘him crucified.’

The cross is the key to everything.  Until we learn to see it truly (and unlearn some of the horrific blasphemous popular theologies), we will not know Jesus.

That first love we are chasing in this season–we first see it on the cross.

I hope you will join me as we consider the cross and the beauty of God’s love it reveals to us.

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