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 Corinthians 1:18
Shortly after Fidel Castro took over Cuba, 12-year-old Armando hid himself in tall grass at the Havana airport. When a DC-8 slowed to turn for its take-off, Armando ran to the plane, climbed up onto a wheel, and hid himself in the wheel well. Ten minutes after take-off, Armando passed out. The plane landed in Madrid, Spain. That’s when the pilot spotted a boy lying on the tarmac. His clothing was stiff; there was frost around his nose and mouth. The boy was taken to a hospital and asked why he had done such a thing. He replied, “I wanted a new life.”
When most people hear that story, they shake their heads in amazement. Their hearts go out to a young boy who is so sad, so afraid, that he is willing to do almost anything to change his life. Then with a sigh of semi-satisfaction they say to themselves, “Nothing is worth taking that kind of risk.”
Really? Each day I see folks risking their lives for things far less important. We all know people who have put themselves under the surgeon’s knife to achieve a temporary cosmetic change. We’ve seen daredevils risk their lives on a motorcycle, truck, or car to achieve fleeting fame. We’ve watched speeders weave through traffic to pick up a few short seconds of time. All of these people risk much for that which is almost insignificant.
Which leads me to ask, “What would you be willing to risk so that your eternal home might be in heaven rather than hell? Is there any price you would consider too high?” To change our lives in this way, any reasonable person would give everything he has; which is exactly the price Jesus paid for our salvation. So our eternity, our everlasting destiny, might be changed, Jesus gave His life and died upon Calvary’s cross. Jesus gave everything.
Was this foolishness on Jesus’ part? In the eyes of humanity it might be. But for us who are saved—whose lives have been changed for the better—the cross has become the power of God and cause for us to give thanks.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on March 21, 2004
THE PRAYER: Dear God, I give thanks for the power of the cross. Help me to live my life in a way that is to Your glory. In Your Name, Amen.
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