Rushville Republican

Church

October 4, 2013

Keeping the Faith: Layer upon layer

(Continued)

No, the deeper we go, and as the layers fall away, we move to something greater. He gets larger, more uncontrollable, more inconceivable, and more wonderful than our minds can imagine. We are the ones left to weeble and wobble.

Yet, there is a seed, a core to the historical Jesus as well as the exalted Christ of our faith. It is the element of sacrifice. There, at the end of it all, when the onion is peeled, is a cross. Jesus, for two millennia, has been marked by this instrument of death. More accurately, he has been marked by the cross since before the threads of time were ever spun. He was “slain before the foundations of the world,” John the Revelator said.

There is a cross hanging above my desk where these words are being typed. I sometimes wear a crucifix around my neck. I even have a Celtic version of the symbol inked into my skin. And while I behold the cross every day, I cannot take hold of all its implications.

C. S. Lewis challenged us to look at the cross, not as a display of godly anger toward Jesus or the world, but as a Lover absorbing the shame and humiliation of betrayal and unfaithfulness. Lewis said, “Jesus shows on the cross that God’s love is not about violence and retaliation. The cross is the only true language of forgiveness.”

That stick of wood is a display of agonizing love shown to a world lost in self-centeredness and self-delusion, a world that has done nothing but be disloyal to and reject its Maker. That cross shows us how far love will go: God, humiliated and bleeding in a suffering mess, bearing up underneath the betrayal of His own creation. If you can get to the bottom of that, please let me know. You’re a smarter person than most.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

Text Only
Church
  • Let go…or be dragged A friend who has some experience with rodeo horses sent me a most picturesque proverb: “Let go or be dragged.” Whether this phrase was first spoken by a Zen master who had achieved enlightenment on the mountainside, or by a battered cowboy nursing hi

    July 25, 2014

  • A year older, but not that much smarter I think I am in a rut. No matter how hard I work, I do not seem to be getting any further along in life. Could it be that somewhere in my past, I peaked and did not realize it? If so, I wish I knew about it so at least I could have the consolation th

    July 25, 2014

  • church briefs Faith Baptist Church - Morristown Dr. Wayne Scott, pastorSunday, July 27 - Sunday school at 9:30 a.m., worship service at 10:30 a.m., followed by a pitch-in lunch at noon and an afternoon service at 2 p.m. with a baptismal service at Hancock Reform B

    July 25, 2014

  • Church Briefs First Baptist Church of Rushville“Children should be seen and not heard.” I’ve heard adults say that at times, especially in years gone by. I understand what they mean in some respects. “Children should not interrupt or be a distraction when importan

    July 18, 2014

  • Keeping the Faith: Hitting the Road Here we are, deep in the throes of the rituals of summer. School is out, vacation days are being cashed in, and picnic baskets are being packed. Barbecues are firing, pools are splashing, and ice cream trucks are rolling. Meanwhile, thousands, yea mi

    July 18, 2014

  • religion briefs Senate Democrats seek to reverse Hobby Lobby ruling WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate is preparing to vote on a Democratic-sponsored bill aimed at ensuring that women receive free contraception coverage even if they work for a company that has a religious

    July 18, 2014

  • Let It Go, Let Go, Let It Go This year I celebrate my 20th year as a practicing grandfather. I am not sure that after 20 years I know anything more about being a grandfather than I did before. I have not found any books written on how to be a grandfather, maybe I should write on

    July 18, 2014

  • chu-rv071814-church mouse logo Just checking in today - Angel the Church Mouse Hi, all you kind folks in Readership Land.Mercy! July is fleeing. Bible School has been about in city and country. What a joy hearing little voices singing hymns and reciting Bible verses. Now, soon school bells will be ringing! Didn’t they just stop

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Keeping the Faith Decades ago, while speaking of an upcoming championship bout, Muhammad Ali constructed a poetic couplet of epic proportions. With glitzy words corresponding to his style both in and out of the ring, “The Greatest” claimed he would “Float like a butte

    July 11, 2014

  • Have a blessed day; now fire me if you dare! I must confess to a severe case of poverty. I never took a vow of poverty; it just seems to have worked out that way for me. I am so poor the church mice have packed their bags and moved on. If I knew where they moved to, I might join them.Being poor

    July 11, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.