Cross, Cleft, Rock

September 22, 2011
by Parise Arakelian

1 Corinthians 1:18 – For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (NIV)

Many years ago, I heard a preacher present a riveting sermon on the sufferings of Jesus Christ, beginning with His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, through His trial, scourging, and ultimate suffering and death on the cross by crucifixion. In my heart, the sufferings of Christ had a profound effect on me that day.

As the sermon was given, in my mind's eye, I could see a plain wooden cross embedded in the cleft of a large rock that was standing in the midst of a turbulent sea. Through the message of the cross, I realized that I could find comfort and shelter through the storms of life in the cleft of the rock. I began to sing within myself, "Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee."

A prophecy concerning the rock, Jesus Christ, was given in the Old Testament:

Isaiah 28:16 – Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: "Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken." (NLT)

Then, in the New Testament, the apostle Paul states:

Ephesians 2:20 – He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he's using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone. (MSG)

What comes to mind is the fact that our faith is grounded in a secure foundation. This truth is presented so well through the chorus of the hymn, "The Solid Rock": "On Christ, the solid rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand."

Are we as attuned to His suffering as I was that day? Can we really understand why He is compelling us to pay attention? First, if we have not accepted His great sacrifice, He is drawing us to Himself by the Holy Spirit. Second, could it be that as followers, we are not impressed enough with His great sacrifice to share this message with others?

Prayer: Thank You for Your great sacrifice on the cross to gain eternal salvation for our souls. Help us to witness to those around us who are also in need of so great a salvation. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Parise Arakelian
(deceased)

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