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The Scandal Of The Cross
Denying The Cross Of Christ
To the Jews, who were looking for a Messiah (God's Anointed Saviour), who would rid them of the Roman oppression and usher in God's promised kingdom on earth like David's, the idea of Jesus dying on a cross was scandalous.
• It offended all their religious ideas about keeping all sorts of religious rules and regulations down to the minutest detail. And Jesus gave the Pharisees and other religious folk a hard time because while they emphasised the importance of keeping the letter of the Jewish Law, they broke the spirit of it all the time by their loveless legalism. [See for example Jesus' seven utterances of "Woe to you Pharisees!" in MATTHEW 23:1-30.]
• The Jews wanted Jesus to perform signs and wonders to prove who he claimed to be. In MATTHEW 16:1-4 Jesus replied: “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.”
In MATTHEW 12:38-40 Jesus explained that just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man (The Messiah) would be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights, before coming alive again.
The Cross Is Still A Scandal To Religious People Today
• People prefer to observe religious rules and rituals rather than accept that there is nothing we can do to earn God's forgiveness or love. On the Cross Jesus cried " It's finished!" JOHN 19:30, meaning he had completed the work God had sent him to accomplish.
No amount of keeping religious rules or giving to charity
is going to get us into heaven. Just the Blood of Jesus shed for our sins at Calvary.
• Religious people today still look for miraculous signs and wonders to prove Jesus really is the Son of God. They're not satisfied with the Gospel record of the finished work of Christ on the Cross at Calvary. In so doing they lay themselves open to the very deception Jesus warned them about in MATTHEW 24:23-24.
For more on this, click on JESUS' WARNINGS ABOUT SIGNS & WONDERS.