Easter - 2018

Monday, October 18, 2010

I am not Ashamed!

The following is an excerpt from my sermon yesterday. It is good review for me and a great reminder that I would much rather see a sermon than hear one.

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NRSV)

31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.[1]

Forgiveness is free but it is not cheap. When Dr. Gene Nichol, president of William and Mary College ordered the cross removed from Wren Chapel on that campus, he failed to anticipate the outcry from alumni and others. He now admits he acted hastily and has ordered the cross returned, at least all day on Sunday. I understand the offensive nature of the cross. It’s too blunt, too brutal for our refined minds to encounter. All that stuff about a pierced side, nail-scarred hands, and a thorn-torn brow sounds gross in refined houses of worship. When you watch a movie such as Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ…It is rough, blinding in the gruesome flesh ripping, and brings tears to know that was for me.

I can tell you from experience…if you cannot tell me when you have been to the foot of the cross, then you have never been there. For at the cross of Jesus our sin is forgiven. Debts are canceled because somebody paid the price. Jesus paid the price. The cross was offensive in the first century too. Yet, as one that has bowed at the foot of the cross and received the forgiveness of Jesus, I am still content to sing:

Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe.
Sin had left its crimson stain;
He washed me white as snow.

It is the cross that demonstrates the ultimate act of forgiveness.

It is the cross the sets us free.

It is the Cross the holds us tight in hard times.

It is the cross the sets us free!

I am trying to live out forgiveness as a way of life. You know I love ya, Don

The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Eph 4:31–32). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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