There is so much more I’d like to say on the subject of “emptying the cross of its power” from Sunday’s sermon, but I’ll leave it at this little bit. At ancient Corinth, Paul was concerned about the divisions that were erupting within the congregation, notably over the agent of one’s baptism. What were the implications of this for the cross?
In effect, the Corinthian Christians were implying that the work of Christ on our behalf – his life, death, and resurrection – was less important to our redemption than the agent of our baptisms. Christ’s hanging on the cross and defeating death was less effective than our own being baptized by the right person.
But today we can also be guilty of emptying the cross in our own lives.
- By thinking that budgets and programs will accomplish Christ’s work.
- By reducing Christian discipleship to showing up at a public assembly once a week and thinking that is all Christ wants from you and died for.
- By making no place in one’s home, finances, time, and relationships for Christ to do his transformational work.
- By thinking that a week can pass without prayer, meditation, and deliberation about how one will use his/her life in a Christ-ward way.
- By thinking, for a moment, that we can be a disciple of Jesus with no cross-shaped life. (We all have our moments.)
The Hebrews writer says something very frightening in Hebrews 6:6. “…by rejecting the Son of God, we ourselves are guilty of nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.”