1 Cor. 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
On a regular basis as followers of Christ when we gather around the communion table, we are reminded of the Cross. When Jesus died on Calvary, the date was April in the year 30 A.D. in all probability. We know that Tiberias was the Emperor of Rome. Tiberias was 70 at the time of Jesus’ death and had already ruled for 14 years succeeding Caesar Augustus. He was a lean, assiduous and very unhappy man, but he was a master of economics. Historians record that when Tiberias assumed control of Rome there were 100-million sesterces (silver coins) in the national treasury; when he died, there were nearly 3 billion of them. A cold-hearted man, the Emperor knew virtually nothing of mercy or compassion.
The enemies of Jesus knew all the negatives of their Caesar. When it seemed for a short moment that the Roman Governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, might not condemn Jesus, they snarled at him, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar’s!” Pilate quickly relented and ordered the crucifixion of our Lord. History records that it would not have been prudent for Pilate’s political life to antagonize Tiberias.
But the direction for that day had been set long before Tiberias or Augustus or Julius or Pompey or any of that crowd. God’s plan for redemption was carved in eternal stone long before the creation of the worlds. Adam’s sin came as no surprise to the Creator. The divine salvation plan had long since been conceived in the mind of God. By that crucial mid-afternoon so long ago, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, hung dead, suspended by nails from a brutal cross. So I’ll cherish that old rugged cross til my trophies at last I lay down. Can anyplace on this planet be as precious in God’s sight as Calvary? Or mine?
Prayer: O God, we stand transfixed before the cross, pondering the enormity of Your eternal plan for our personal redemption. The cross will never be a mere trinket hanging on a necklace. No, to us, the redeemed, it will ever be the symbol of your marvelous grace! How can we thank You? Amen.