Three Reasons To Why The Offence Of The Cross Is A Scandal Today Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Read These 3 uncommon to answer your questions
I have three reasons why the offence of the cross is a scandal today, and the first is this: It is a repudiation. It is a contradiction of the chief liberal optimism of the deification of humanity, of the inherent goodness in the human heart.
The cross is an exposition – an exposing, a public lifted-up presentation – of the darkness and the iniquity and the villainy that is inherent in the human heart [Romans 3:23-26; Colossians 2:13-15]. And that is a contradiction of that wonderful, sentimental, buoyant optimism that preaches that men are essentially good and not bad. I am sure you are all familiar with that sort of preaching?
In a Greyfriars Church in Edinburgh more than a century ago, there were two ministers who were colleagues, and one of those ministers at the morning hour preached and decanted on the inherent love and adoration in the human heart for virtue: that when goodness appears, humanity just automatically bows down and worships before it.
Whether by irony of circumstance or by forethought nobody knows, but the minister – his colleague – that evening, when he preached, he said that virtue had come into this world in the form of moral loveliness in the person of the Son of God – pure, holy, and without blemish – and that humanity had taken Him and nailed Him to a cross, and He died outside the city gate.
That cross is an open exposition to the world of the human heart, which is vile, and black, and dark, and in no wise acceptable unto God. It is a condemnation of humanity.
Think of it
There He is, outside the city wall, raised on a little knoll, and just beyond is the city. On the inside of that city is Herod the king with his cheap, coarse vices [Matthew 14:1-11; Luke 23:8-12]. That cross is a condemnation of him and an exposition of him.
On the inside of that city is cold, crafty, Caiaphas with his chicanery, with his worldly wisdom [Matthew 26:57-68; John 11:-53]. That cross is a condemnation of him.
On the inside of that city is Pontius Pilate with his eye fearful for his own personal career [Mark 15:1-15], and that cross is a condemnation of Pontius Pilate. And on the inside of that city are the scheming Pharisees, and the scribes, and the elders of the people [Luke 22:66-71], and that cross is a condemnation of them.
And on the inside of that city, and now there at the foot of the cross, are Roman legionnaires, and with dice they gamble for the garment without seam [Matthew 27:35; Luke 23:34; John 19:24]; and that cross is a condemnation of them.
Had things been right, and had mankind been right, there had been no crucifixion on a place called Golgotha [Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17]. But His blood, and His wounds, and His death are an exposing of the human heart.
In the sixth chapter of the Book of Genesis, God says that He looked down, and behold, the imaginations of the hearts of the men that He made was evil continually; and it repented God that He had made man [Genesis 6:5-6].
The gospel of the Son of God is diametrically opposite to the philosophy of the world – that we’re good and getting better. The preaching of the cross is that our hearts are wicked and desperately so, that we are a lost and a condemned humanity [Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-18]. That is the offense of the cross [Galatians 5:11]