This week Steve continues to look at the ways in which we’ve misunderstood the meaning of the cross. Whether it’s underestimating or overstating its importance, something so central to the Christian faith has also become a central debate.
But Steve argues that “the cross has become, not just central to the gospel, it has become the whole gospel.” And that’s problematic for multiple reasons. The cross is nothing without the resurrection and vice versa. And moreover, it’s the resurrection that fuels our understanding of the gospel going-forward. As Steve puts it, “Although news of a crucified, would-be Messiah would have sent waves of disappointment through the towns and villages where Jesus had first been followed as Israel’s potential liberator, news of a RAISED Messiah would have stunned the political, social and religious structures that had vehemently believed he was a false claimant to the title.”
Steve adds that ‘We preach Christ crucified’ is what the Apostle Paul taught in his first letter to the Corinthians. But taken in the context of Paul’s whole letter, let alone his whole body of teaching, Jesus’ death only has meaning because he rose from the dead. It was this that changed Paul’s life and it is this that brings hope to the whole world.
But the real question is, what about you?
Do you agree or do you see things differently? Are the cross and resurrection inextricably linked? And is the resurrection, not death, what defines our understanding of the gospel?
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