Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Electric Chairs?

Can you imagine decorating our churches this time of year with miniature nooses or replications of electric chairs?

I know if I passed someone on the street with a golden electric chair charm on chain around her neck, I seriously doubt my thoughts would be to complement the craftsmanship of such a "beautiful" piece. My inner dialog would probably be along these lines: "That lady needs some serious help."

When Paul in Galatians 6:14 says he only boasts in the cross, his original audience would've gasped. To take a means of capital punishment and celebrate it? Really? But, to glory in lethal injection or a guillotine would be just as shocking today as his words would have been then.

Yet that is exactly what Paul does. He boasts in the cross and encourages us to do the same.

Today at any mass market chain store, you can purchases crosses made of chocolate, plastic and every material in between. We all probably have several in our jewelry boxes and maybe even placed a few around our homes and churches to help us "celebrate" the Easter season. However, I don't think this is exactly what Paul meant.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have any issue with any of these things. I was just very convicted this past week as I studied John Piper's "Don't Waste Your Life." As a result, I do have an issue with approaching the cross casually.

Growing up in church and living in the south, I see crosses constantly- honestly, to the point that I don't even really see them. The "shock" factor has faded and I've become immune to the fact that a cross is a cruel instrument of punishment and death.

Let me encourage you this Holy Week to take a closer look at all those crosses.  My blog posts this week, will look at why and how Paul could make such a radical claim. But for today, I want to dwell on the fact that his call to boast in a cross really was and still is radical.

I'm choosing to really see all those crosses and imagine them as Easter Electric Chairs.

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