I am determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
I Corinthians 2:2
I wonder how many outsiders and non-members read these pages.
I hope there are some, because we have a message for you. And it should offend you in at least two ways.
First, we profess on the one hand that you are a helplessly damned sinner. And on the other hand we profess hope for you from the one and only God who was damned in your stead. He actually volunteered for it — to be caught and executed by you and for you (hard as that might be for you to believe).
If you have trouble taking this in, come to any one of our CLC churches, and the pastor there will be glad to explain the details.
“Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:1-5
In the meantime, you should realize that the above two offenses have been the core message of Christianity from the beginning.
The great explainer of all this back then was a man named Paul, whose life and writings cover a large section of the Bible’s New Testament. Paul, an apostle of the Lord, did not present a “feel good” or moralistic type of Savior. His Christ was a real Somebody—God!
At birth this Somebody was a small Nobody on Earth — a humble life from a virgin’s womb on, called in Scripture a “root out of dry ground” (Isaiah 53:2), a “man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3), very “acquainted” with sadness and grief (Isaiah 53:3), beaten down for the sins of mankind — not His, but yours! — mocked, cursed, reviled, and abandoned, right to the bitter end.
He actually died,
before He revived!
Many people in the world at Paul’s time denied it all as silliness and weakness. But many soon realized that here was an unequalled consistency of depth and truth and satisfaction for starved spiritual appetites.
And why? Because God won!
We profess an executed God who overcame death. He actually planned both — His death and His resurrection — for you! And He has been alive ever since.
That’s why Christians celebrate Easter at the end of Lent.
Hold on to all this, dear sinner. And come and get more. You killed God! (“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:36)
It’s the most offensive news while, at the same time, the most exciting and comforting news that you will