Demands and the Foolishness of the Cross

Preaching from today’s readings (Exodus 20:1-17; I Corinthians 1:18-25; John 2:13-22), Pastor Augustin shared about how:

  • In the Old Testament reading, we learn about God’s covenant “demands” to His people in the form of the 10 Commandments, which eventually led to a system of worship rituals centered around sacrifice.
  • By the time of the Jesus, in the Gospel reading, we find that people have exploited these “demands” and worship rituals into a situation to profit from.
  • In the New Testament reading, we read about the “demands” people now have of God; requiring that He perform miracles (“Jews seek a sign”) or make sense (“Greeks seek wisdom”) before they would have faith.

So, when Jesus cleared out the temple from those who were profiteering from those who had come to worship, He was turning everything back to His work on the Cross. Declaring that the center of worship – the temple and sacrifices conducted within – would be torn down and replaced in three days.

This then, is how can now we participate in the Communion and Life of Christ – through the work Christ crucified:

“a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”(I Cor. 1:23-25)

This is how we turn from merely law-abiding people to become a life-giving people.

Incidentally, for those who are interested in the early first century graffiti mocking early Christians that Pastor Augustin mentioned, here is more about the Alexamenos Graffito via Wikipedia.

And for those who were wondering what Alpha was trying to pull off when singing Graham Kendrick‘s “Meekness and Majesty“, it was, as Alpha said, “something like this lah…”


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