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Superiority in a Staff, and a Cross

Pretty amazing. A world leader and his Egyptian empire brought to its knees with a shepherd’s staff.

Before the Lord at the burning bush, Moses threw down his staff and it became a snake. Then before a sneering pharaoh, God’s staff-snake gobbled up the army of serpents conjured up by the Egyptian magicians. In the end, Moses’ shepherd staff would be held up over the waters of the Red Sea and clear an escape route for 2 million Israelites. And then, it would signal the sea walls to come crashing down on pharaoh’s chariots: a swift and crushing victory for God’s people over a tyrannical world power.

But nothing compared to the power of the cross.

Again, a powerless piece of wood. But with it, the most powerful of actions by the Lord Almighty. Remarkable, because on the crucifiers’ cross, the eternal God, now Jesus the God-man, met his death. A powerful death, his crucifixion. In it, God miraculously transferred all the guilt of “little sins” and of sickening atrocities to Jesus. And with Jesus’ cross, God opened an account of divine holiness to cover all national debts of sin in this world.

So when secret or unforgettable sins sneer, “you can’t undo me.” Their bite, their guilt, is gobbled up by Jesus on his cross. And when the evils of disease or of injury or of old age or of evil people are attacking, there is Jesus’ cross held high for us. It guarantees the power of God’s once dying, now undying love, that keeps him between us and those enemies. It guarantees the power of God’s peace, that “all is forgiven – in all things God is for me – in all things he’s at work for my good.” (Romans 8).

God made a saving promise to Adam and Eve and the world, when sin and it’s cursed evil first came into the world, His promise came true at the cross. Satan and the worst that he could do, would be “crushed” by the death of Jesus, that “saving offspring” of the woman (Genesis 3:15). When devilish evil strikes, “hold up” God’s “shepherd staff,” Jesus cross, in prayer and in Bible reading. And enjoy God’s crushing victories of faith vs. fear, of perseverance vs. weakness, and of hope even in death.

God’s amazing and miracle-working power is ours by Jesus’ cross. And his cross power works wonders for others, as we hold up and hold out Jesus’ cross for them. Make the most of the special opportunity you have to do that for your unchurched friends and family, at St. Matthew on September 9th.

Embracing and enjoying “full life” in Jesus (John 10:10),
Pastor Kuske

Keep Kickoff Sunday, September 9th on your calendar
9 AM Worship
10 AM Coffee & “catch up” time
10:30 AM Special Speaker: “Interpreting the Bible”
11:30 AM Corn roast

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