Kruiz edited
Glory in the Cross
Tuesday in Lent 3
21 March 2017
The glory of the church and her greatest treasure is the cross. In the cross strength is made perfect in weakness. The weakness of the cross is its strength. Though the cross appears unable to accomplish anything but the ignominious death of Jesus, it rescues a whole world of sinners from sin. The cross's great glory is its power to rescue.
 
If the blood of myriad bulls and goats brought atonement upon Mt. Moriah, how much more the precious and holy blood of the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, spilled upon Mt. Zion? If the tree in the Garden brought sin and death, how much more could the Tree thrust into the navel of the world bring forgiveness and life? If the fruit of the Garden was death, how much more could the fruit of Golgotha be life? If the luscious growth of the tree in the Garden brought mortality how much more could the rough-hewn wood of Calvary bring the luscious growth of immortality? St. Cyril of Jerusalem's Catechetical Lectures glories in the cross of Christ because of the work that it accomplishes.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

Gregory of Nyssa
 
"Every deed of Christ is a cause of glorying to the Church catholic, but her greatest of all glorying is in the cross. Knowing this, Paul says, 'But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ' (Gal 6:14). For wondrous indeed it was, that one who was blind from his birth should receive sight in Siloam (Jn 9:7); but what is this compared with the blind of the whole world? A great thing it was, and quite beyond nature, for Lazarus to rise again on the fourth day; but the grace extended to him alone, and what was it compared with those dead in sins throughout the world? Marvelous it was, that five loaves should pour forth food for the five thousand; but what is that to those who are famishing in ignorance through all the world? It was marvelous that she should have been loosed who had been bound by Satan eighteen years: yet what is this to all of us, who were fast bound in the chains of our sins? But the glory of the cross led those who were blind through ignorance into light, loosed all who were held fast by sin, and ransomed the whole world of mankind.
 
"Do not wonder that the whole world was ransomed. For it was no mere man, but the only-begotten Son of God, who died on behalf of the world. Moreover one man's sin, even Adam's, had power to bring death to the world. But if 'because of one man's trespass, death reigned' over the world, how shall life not much more reign 'through the one man Jesus Christ' (Rm 5:17)? And if because of the food of the tree of food they were then cast out of paradise, shall not believers now more easily enter into paradise because of the Tree of Jesus? If the first man formed out of the earth brought universal death, shall not He who formed him out of the earth bring eternal life, being Himself the Life? If Phinehas, when he waxed zealous and slew the evil-doer, stayed the wrath of God (Nu 25:11), shall not Jesus, who slew not another, but 'gave himself as a ransom for all' (1Ti 2:6), put away the wrath which is against mankind?"

Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 13.1-2
Galatians 6:7-18

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
 
See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
 
And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen. (ESV)
Prayer
On my heart imprint Your image, blessed Jesus, King of grace, that life's riches cares, and pleasures never may Your work erase. Let the clear inscription be: Jesus crucified for me, is my life, my hope's foundation, and my glory and salvation. Amen. (LSB, 422)
 
For Robert Newton, President of the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of the LCMS, that the Lord would grant him health and healing following hip replacement surgery
 
For Kirstyn Harvey, who is going to undergo serious surgery later this week, that the Lord of the church would guide and guard the hand of the surgeon and grant her complete healing
 
For President David Rakotonirina of the Malagasy Lutheran Church of Madagascar, that he would be kept safe and faithfully convey the word of God's mercy to the people of Madagascar
Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias  Isenheim Altarpiece (c. 1515)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
© Scott Murray 2017
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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