The Cross of Christ
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."1
"Maybe you know the story of Sir John Bowring. A brilliant man who spoke five languages, Sir John was twice elected to Parliament. Knighted by the queen, he served at one time as governor of Hong Kong. It's said he wrote thirty-six books on a variety of subjects. If you visit a library, though, you will only find one of Sir John's writings. It's all we have left. And you're likely to find it in a hymnal.
"It's a poem which he wrote after a boat trip, sailing along the coast of China. Passing Macao, a city devastated by an earthquake, he spied the ruins of a mission church. Protruding from those ruins was the cross which had stood atop the chapel. The impact of that cross caused him to write these memorable words:"2
In the cross of Christ I glory / Towering o'er the wrecks of time / All the light of sacred story / Gathers round its head sublime.
When the woes of life o'ertake me / Hopes deceive, and fears annoy / Never shall the cross forsake me / Lo! it glows with peace and joy.
Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure / By the cross are sanctified / Peace is there that knows no measure / Joys that through all time abide.3
Still today the cross of Jesus Christ towers over the wrecks of time—faded dreams, lost hopes, disappointments, violent acts of terrorism, wars, and the lack of peace. In the end, however, the cross of Christ will triumph over all. It is the only hope of mankind.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for the Cross of Christ and all that it means for lost mankind. Thank You that in the end it will triumph over all evil, sickness, sadness, sorrow, and death. Most of all I thank You for the Christ of the cross who, on Good Friday some two thousand years ago, gave His life in my place to pay the just penalty for all my sins so that I could be forgiven and receive Your forgiveness and that gift of eternal life. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV).
2. From www.sermons.com.
3. Sir John Bowring, 1825.