Though some wear a cross as a pendant around their necks, others see it as a foolish, primitive symbol. How can God’s plan for the cross defy the world’s wisdom? Pastor Lutzer encourages us by the multifaceted wisdom of God seen in the death of Jesus on the cross. We can learn to love the cross. This episode was originally published February 11, 2019 as “The Attributes of God | Week 6: Wise.”
“But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
- 1 Corinthians 1:23–24
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Transcript: Hi, welcome to 5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer. We’re doing a series on the attributes of God. And whenever we think about God, we should be inspired; we should be instructed; we should be humbled; but always, we should end up worshiping. And I think we’re going to be doing that today in these few moments together.
The attribute of God that we are discussing is the wisdom of God, and my text is taken from 1 Corinthians: “But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” And then notice this: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” The wisdom of God. Well, if you were with us last time, you know that we defined wisdom as “using the best possible means to accomplish the best possible ends.”
Now I want to introduce you to a concept that we’ll be discussing later also: The fact that the cross of Jesus Christ was in God’s mind from the beginning of time. You know, oftentimes we’re taught in Sunday school that Adam and Eve sinned; Paradise was God’s best, and then when they sinned God entered into plan B. I want you to think about this for a moment, that actually the cross of Jesus Christ and redemption was plan A. “Crucified from before the foundation of the world.” Wow.
Think about God’s redemption, and actually, the cross is like a kaleidoscope. The reason that God wanted to redeem is that at the cross, we see all of the attributes of God in a very unique way. Yes, He was crucified in weakness; He was crucified and humbled as He hung there on the cross. But there on the cross of Jesus Christ, the attributes of God were all displayed. Love wanted to redeem but could not redeem until Justice was satisfied. So when Jesus satisfied Justice by paying our penalty, Love was free to redeem. Where do we see the love of God most clearly expressed? Well, at the cross! Where do we see God’s hatred for sin most clearly expressed? At the cross! And it is there at the cross that we were redeemed, where our purchase price was paid; and when Jesus said “It is finished,” He had accomplished the work that God gave Him to do, and you and I were redeemed, not with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.
You may be struggling with guilt today for issues that you cannot, of course, recall. You cannot redo them; you can’t redo life. But Jesus made a way by which we can be cleansed, forgiven, received by God. “It is finished.” And that’s why we as Christians, of course, glory in the cross. We take pride in the fact; Paul says, “God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.” So we wear the cross not simply as a pendant around our necks, but we also carry that cross into a hurting world.
You know, today, I hope that you take time to contemplate the cross of Jesus Christ; to know there that God was in Christ, reconciling us to Himself; that Jesus on the cross got what He didn’t deserve: namely, our sin. And we, in turn, get what we don’t deserve: namely, His righteousness. I love the cross. I hope that you do, too. Today, give thanks to God for the cross, for its completeness; and go with God. And I’ll see you right here next time.