The LifeSign alternative worship service at Burke United Methodist Church is doing a sermon series called “Ugliness Into Beauty: Six Blessings of the Cross.” Here is a promotional video which I first tried to make of me drawing on a whiteboard and then had to improvise using Microsoft Paint.
Ugliness into Beauty: Six Blessings of the Cross
The cross was designed to be the ultimate torture and witness of Roman power. It was supposed to instill horror in all who saw it, so that they would know that Caesar was Lord and that every rebel against Him would die a gruesome, dishonorable death. But God committed the most subversive act in human history by converting the ugliness of the cross into the beauty by which a new kingdom was established under the reign of the crucified messiah Jesus Christ. Christians profess that Jesus died for our sins, but the abstraction of this statement masks the many dimensions in which we are blessed by His sacrifice. During Lent this year, we will look at six different blessings of the cross which make it so much than just a payment for sin; it is rather the foundation for a new people who have become one body with Christ as their head.
Solidarity with the crucified
People who are treated unjustly may wonder whether God is on the side of those who have hurt them; Jesus cross shows that He is not.
Truth to power
Jesus’ cross calls into question our assumptions about power by showing how His disciplined weakness shattered the power of those who thought they could kill Him.
Jesus is the standard for every martyr who refuses to fight with any weapon other than truth and loves truth enough to die for it.
Jesus tears down every dividing wall between every group of enemies by being the scapegoat who absorbs every accusation that they lodge against each other.
Uncursing the World
The blood of the world’s Creator is the only elixir strong enough to purify all of creation from the curse that accumulates because of our sin.
Proof of God’s mercy
By taking on Himself the punishment for every crime that we have ever committed, Jesus dismantles our fearful defensiveness with the good news of God’s mercy.