Ralph preached last night on 1 Cor 1:18, looking at the word of the cross. The cross, now a symbol of Christianity and used in ornate jewellery, was not originally something beautiful but the place of execution. Nonetheless, the cross reveals to us the heart of God, for there we see:

(1) God’s word concerning holiness and sin

The cross reveals the vileness of sin (see John 8:34) and the holiness of God. It reveals the cosmic battle between good and evil, where Satan thought to triumph over Christ (see Acts 2:23), but where in fact God’s purposes for salvation were worked out.

(2) God’s word concerning love and sacrifice
There is a difference between contribution and sacrifice (the hen contributes an egg, the pig gives his life to provide bacon!) God knew that the death of Christ was the only way to save mankind (see Acts 4:12) and the cross shows us God’s love for man (John 3:16, Eph 5:2)

(3) God’s word concerning righteousness and peace

The sacrifice Christ made was to God, a sacrifice which destroyed the dividing wall between man and God and brought reconciliation (see Eph 2). Righteousness and peace kiss each other at the cross (see Ps 85:10).

(4) God’s word concerning salvation and peace
The cross is the power of God for salvation. Just as the blood of lambs was necessary for the Israelites to know escape from the bondage of Egypt, so we too need the blood of Christ to cleanse us from sin and to bring us salvation.