Revelation 5; Nehemiah 7:5-8:12; Psalm 100
In his book “The Great Divorce” CS Lewis tells the story of the fictional theologian who thinks Jesus was a failure because He died at such an early age. He ponders aloud the question of how much more Jesus could have accomplished if He had lived longer. Lewis used this character to show the foolishness of those who refused to acknowledge that the cross was the ultimate accomplishment of Jesus.
This foolishness is seen in contrast to one of the greatest worship scenes in the Bible as the angels worshiped Jesus. “In a loud voice they sang: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’” (Revelation 5:12) The cross, in human terms a sign of utter humiliation, is the symbol of the victory that Jesus gained when He conquered death. Paul described the message of the cross as foolishness to those who are perishing, but the power of God to those who are being saved.
Jesus’ death on the cross is a defining moment in human history. It was through the cross that God reconciled men to Himself. If the story of the cross, the crucifixion, and the resurrection is true, then we can do nothing but worship God the Son who conquered death. If it is false and we continue to follow God, we are of all men most to be pitied. It is the firm belief that this message is true that has caused Christians to stay faithful to Jesus in the midst of the most horrific persecution.
The angels understand the cross. As seen here in the book of Revelation they sing of the Lamb who was slain to receive power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and praise. They know that Jesus endured the cross to open the gates of heaven to mankind; gates that would be closed without that sacrifice. As we reflect on our own sins and the need for the cross to bring forgiveness, we might grow sad. If we truly think about what Jesus did on the cross, we’ll be singing with the angels.
Lord Jesus, thank You for the cross. You are worthy to receive all of my praise and worship; all of who I am and what I have to honor You. Let me show that today as I live for You in a world that sees the cross as foolishness.