Careful examination of Calvary

By Dave Henning / April 7, 2024

“Any serious study of the Christian claim is, at its essence, a study of the cross.  To accept or reject Christ without a careful examination of Calvary is like deciding on a car without looking at the engine.  Being religious without knowing the cross is like owning a Mercedes with no motor.  Pretty package, but where is your power?”- Max Lucado

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.”- 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 (NIV)

For the next week or so I will be posting excerpts from one of Max Lucado’s earliest books.  The title: No Wonder They Call Him the Savior (1986).  First, Max asks, in your Bible of over one thousand pages, what matters most?  What do you deem essential among all the do’s, don’ts, shoulds, and shouldn’ts?

Most significantly, the cross matters most.  No more and no less.  Furthermore, history has idolized, despised, gold-plated, burned, worn, and trashed that piece of wood.  Everything but ignored it.  Because that’s one option the cross fails to offer.

1 Peter 2:23 tells us that passers-by hurled insults at the crucified Christ.  Thus, the crowd did more than just yell, speak, or scream.  They hurled verbal stones.  However, Pastor Lucado notes, look at what Jesus did not do.  He never retaliated.  Instead, Jesus left the judging to God.

Consequently, Max counsels:

“Anger.  It’s a peculiar yet predictable emotion.  It begins as a drop of water. . . .  Nothing big, just an aggravation. . . .  Yet, enough of these seemingly innocent drops of anger and before long you’ll bet a bucketful of anger.  Walking revenge.  Blind bitterness. . . .

Have you ever asked how [Jesus] kept his control?  Here’s the answer.  It’s the second part of his statement: ‘for they do not know what they are doing.’ . . .

And for the most part, neither do we.  We are still shepherdless sheep.”

Today’s question: What led you to take a careful examination of Calvary?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Signing on Jesus’ credit card”

About the author

Dave Henning

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