The Cross of Jesus is offensive

Eugene Vermeulen

The Cross of Jesus is offensive

It offends those who reject it. It offends the politically correct and it offends even the believer. It offends our pride and our independence. It offends our notion that we determine our own fate, that we can decide for ourselves what is right and wrong.

It offends our belief that freedom is gained by promoting self, not from humility and servanthood. It offends the self-pity of our own pain & misery.

It offends comfortable religion. It offends believers when they don’t want to return to it for complete forgiveness and acceptance. It offends everyone who will not put it as the central focus of their lives. It offends all of humanity everywhere with its simple claim that we are a fallen race, that we cannot achieve salvation or enlightenment on our own – that God came in human form to redeem us from our hopelessness.

It offends me more often than I’d like to admit. Even so, I embrace its offense, because it shows me that I still have dying to do.

This irrational offense shows that something greater is at work here, that there is a war being waged for the souls of men. Therefore I will embrace the Cross of Jesus Christ. I will embrace the offense and stand counted with those who admit their sin and failing and fall on it for salvation.

Without the Cross I am nothing and life holds no real meaning. Because of the Cross there is hope and there is life, joy and power, not only in this life, but for all eternity. The Cross is a divine epiphany, a thought greater than what the human mind can conceive – that God could redeem a fallen race in such a radical, selfless way. It is love undeserved, that causes sinners to take on the very nature of God.

No historical event has impacted as many people so mystifyingly and profoundly. It is a wonder that, if not true, should be true. It cannot be fathomed or rationalized, only experienced. It stands as a monument and triumph above every other event in the history of mankind. Thank you for the Cross, My Lord , My Saviour, My Friend.

(The above article was posted here by Grant, with much gratitude to its author, Eugene Vermeulen)

2 thoughts on “The Cross of Jesus is offensive

  1. Whatever language you use the message of the cross will always be offensive.
    The message of the cross offends because it reveals the unvarnished truth about our spiritual condition. The “real Jesus” offends us and deflates our pride. God’s way of salvation is an affront, a scandal, an insult, and ultimately a verdict about the insufficiency of human effort to attain righteousness before a Holy God. Human “works” or merits are useless before God. The truth about the human condition is offensive. It is not flattering to say we are twisted and broken and helpless. No, the world wants the image of beauty, strength, capability, power, etc. The world wants us to worship idealized man (or woman), whereas God wants us to confess our inner bankruptcy and need for Him.

    The message of the cross — the gospel — is offensive to fallen human nature that seeks to justify its life here on earth. The gospel message implies that our sinful condition is so profound that it literally took the death of Yeshua to satisfy God’s wrath for us. The cross implies that we are both helpless to save ourselves and hopelessly lost in sin. La’Adonai Yeshuah : “Salvation is of the LORD.” We can do nothing to save ourselves. This is an affront to human pride that wants to add something of its own doing to “perfect” God’s work of deliverance.

    The message of the cross implies that humanity is sinful and under the sentence of divine wrath, and therefore the cross is an offense because it represents condemnation of the world. Contrary to the romantic notions of optimists, New Age thinkers, and progressive liberals, “the whole world lies in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). Human nature is not inherently good. The cross declares that all of the religiosity and moral attempts of mankind are entirely incapable of pleasing God, and that humanity itself is unable to attain genuine revelation about ultimate reality. The cross reveals that we are lost… Apart from God’s intervention and saving grace, all people are doomed.

    Lastly, the message of the cross is offensive because it requires the death of the ego. The devil advises using the world’s methods for the promotion of the “gospel” and is ready to promote to prominence those who rely on the “flesh” to “do God’s work.” The world’s standard for “success” is always contrary to the Spirit of Messiah. The message of the cross is offensive because it deflates human pride and condemns the “works of lukewarm-religion.” The message of the cross is offensive because it is exclusivist. The cross is an offense because it declares that faith in the atoning sacrifice of Yeshua is the ONLY way to be forgiven by God. There is no other name than the Name of Yeshua for the salvation of human beings (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Cor. 1:23; 1 John 2:23). Many church growth experts offer up an “inoffensive” gospel that appeals to the “felt needs” of seekers (i.e., pagans).
    Although good works are commendable, there is no offense in promoting social justice in the world today, just as there is no offense in seeking to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poor and downtrodden. However there is considerable offense by proclaiming that Yeshua is the ONLY way of salvation, and there is offense by stating that His sacrifice upon the cross (alone) is the ONLY thing that makes us right with God. That kind of talk will be regarded as offensive — intolerant and even hateful — to those who attempt to justify themselves apart from God. The pragmatist is willing to overlook the offense of the gospel for the sake of “unity” that brings the people of the world together.
    May the LORD God help us take up the offense of the cross and gladly, courageously, and to joyfully follow after Him! Don’t lose heart as you walk.


  2. 1 Corinthians 1:18. Yes the cross is offensive to the lost who don’t like their pride being deflated. Becasue the cross means denial of self, servanthood, and giving god all the glory and credit for our lives and humankind likes to have their pride, ego, and own power of accomplishing things.Then you have to actually be acountable for your’e sins and turn away from sin and towards god and in beginning is painful for the lost to face.


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