Where Else is the Cross True? Part 2
Today was great! Today is one of those reasons why I love what I do. We started church like normal and went through worship like normal. One of my announcements was that I would be collecting United Methodist Health Kits to take to our conference center, which would then be sent to Haiti. After the children’s sermon I moved on to my sermon and I was about to pray when I was interrupted by a woman who had prayed and felt the pull to bring in 50 health kits for next week. Then, suddenly people start handing her money to pay for them. In a matter of moments she had over a hundred dollars!
This is why I love what I do because I get a front row seat to see what God does!
As for my sermon it also went well, and you can listen to it here.
The starting text was Philippians 2:5 that says Jesus emptied himself. Jesus became nothing.
This word for nothing is the Greek word “Kenos”
So how do we be obedient to that? What does that mean for us?
To understand this we have to understand that love is risky because it gives up control and means we could get hurt.
First, we turn to Matthew 20:26 a mom comes to Jesus and asks for her sons to sit next to Jesus. She recognizes that Jesus is king and she wants her sons to sit in seats of power and influence.
Jesus says That whoever wants to be great must be a slave. That to be great is to decide to make someone else’s well-being instead of our own. In other words we have to give up control.
Because love and control cannot exist together they are opposites.
If you think of the most loving person you know they are not controlling and the most controlling person you know is not loving.
However, this brings up questions about God. How does he love?
Job 38:31-35 says that God is in control of world.
Isaiah 45:11 says that God is in control of all the world.
If love and control are in tension how can a God who controls all things extend himself freely? – God must become nothing. God must empty himself.
And so God does. God empties himself becoming nothing as Jesus.
There is a popular phrase for Christians “At the foot of the cross the ground is level.” Meaning that anyone, anytime, anywhere can come before Jesus no matter what they have done or what baggage they have there is room at the cross.
However, at the cross, because Jesus became nothing it works the same way for God. At the foot of the cross the ground is level for God too.
At the cross God plays by the same rules we do. This means God can’t do everything.
God can put the stars in the sky and make DNA, sand, human brains, taste, touch and everything around us but God can’t make us love him.
The cross is God’s way of saying “I can make your heart beat but I can’t make it beat for me.”
God is willing to risk it all on the cross knowing that humans might say no.
The cross is God’s way of saying I can make your feet even though they might walk away from me.
The cross is Jesus naked, bloody, spit on, and thirsty, the God who made the universe now needs help from a human just for a drink.
How do we respond then? We respond with a yes. We see Jesus on the cross and we say yes giving him love, and control and we find that Jesus is already there working things out to bring us to him.
So then the Christian response to the cross is a sense of desire and wonder to love this naked, bloody, bruised, and thirsty God.