Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...



If I took one thing away from Dr. Mohler's Convocation Chapel sermon this morning, it's this: the cross of Christ is rough, bathed in blood, and is most certainly not pretty.

Distressingly, I try every day to make that same scandalous cross appear more and more wholesome and less and less grisly. What's worse is that my malady is not limited to my own soul; rather, it is a plague that spreads itself amongst the body of Christ, often in the name of "winning souls."

But today, I don't want to talk about my brothers and sisters in the church, I want to talk about me. I wish to, in essence, poke and prod at my own lukewarm heart in an open attempt to stir some embers to flame once more. Last night, as Scott and I were engaged in our ritualistic (yet hardly rote) Monday night, post-Dorm Meeting walk, I was struck by a thought. The Lord teaches us wisdom (for wisdom was precisely what Scott was speaking of when I was struck by my thought) through ways and means we would often not desire for ourselves. In other words, the very things that grant us wisdom are the tough roads, the struggles, the disclosure of sin that the Spirit orchestrates in our hearts. All of these things, like it or not, are an integral part of lives that are lived in a desperate embrace of Christ's precious cross, that cross which is splintery and gouges into us in ways we often do not and cannot fathom.

As Dr. Mohler spoke this morning of the scandal of the cross and the manner in which we often attempt to cover that scandal, I felt a little shame wash over me. Far too little shame, I might add, for I know that in my heart I desire to make the cross less offensive when it suits my need to do so. Don't get me wrong; it's not that I am entirely unaware of how scandalous the cross is, nor is it that I am dispassionate toward proclaiming the scandal which the Lord Himself has done. No, the shame comes from knowing that my life is often lived in a manner that allows the death of Christ to become less and less prominent, and more and more of an ideal or vague notion that is no longer so heart-wrenching. For indeed, the death of Christ is heart-wrenching! I often look upon our Savior's death with a casual eye, an eye filmed over with the comfortable filth and grime of the world and my sin. I see the cross as an everyday reality, a casual happenstance that gives me the freedom to smile when things aren't going so well. Even though it is not clean and does not allow passivity, I still treat it as a historical blemish that asks for a solution. I still foolishly see the cross as a license to judge "the lost," or when I'm really angry at someone, to smugly comfort myself by saying, "oh well...they're probably going to hell."

But that is not the message of the cross. No, its message is not one that declares me righteous in and of myself; rather, it graciously lays upon me the righteousness that is Christ's! That is a very sobering truth, for the cross does not undo all the sins that I've done, nor does it prevent me from ever sinning again or needing the cross ever again. I will always be under the scandalous power of the cross, and forevermore I shall be claimed by the blood that Christ so horribly shed upon it. Does that seem ludicrous, that someone who utterly deserves death should be freed by the agonized death of One who was never guilty of anything...the One who was God in the flesh? It does. That is why it is the wisdom of God, yet the foolishness of the world. The cross is grisly, it is scandalous, and it is uncomfortable. It is what it is, and I for one am thankful for it.

posted by Bolo | 1:06 PM
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