An enigma is something that is puzzling, hard or difficult
to explain. It is similar to a riddle. The cross is an enigma to many
who wonder why the center of our religion is a symbol of death and
despair. What does it mean for a disciple to “take up his cross daily,”
as Jesus said we must do to follow Him?
God’s wisdom and plan for the cross is more than a one-time salvation
event. It is the strategy for the kingdom of God. The cross is God’s
strategy to empower His disciples to oppose the kingdom of darkness.
In military operations there are both strategic and
tactical operations. Strategy has to do with the overall war plan, while
tactics have to do with the individual battle plans. God’s overall
strategy in kingdom warfare between light and darkness, and between the
kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan, is the enigma of the cross.
The preaching of the cross is foolishness to the world and
to those who are seeking to understand by reason alone. Unless the Holy
Spirit pulls the scales from our eyes and heart, we will never see the
power, the glory, the ability or the transforming power of the cross.
The enigma of the cross is God’s secret weapon—His
strategy for overcoming sin and rebellion. True Christian discipleship
is fulfilled when we understand by revelation and express by lifestyle
Remove the cross, and God’s secret weapon is gone. There
is nothing in our power or ability that can take the place of the cross.
Just as the enemy, through mockers and unbelievers, tried to get Jesus
to come down from the cross, so the enemy of our soul today is trying to
get the church to come down from the cross.
But Christianity without the cross is a powerless
Christianity. And a cross without Christ is nothing but another symbol
of meaningless suffering.
There is a glory in the cross that the church has yet to
embrace. Without accepting the cross we have no transformation. If we do
not embrace the cross, we will not know the glory of God.
Jesus had choices on the cross. He could have demanded
instant release or yielded
to despair and hopelessness.
When we face the problems of life, we have choices, too.
We can demand immediate relief, which may foil the whole process and
stunt our growth, or we can dive into the pit of hopelessness and
despair. Hopefully, we can make the risky choice of trusting God even
though we see no natural justification to do so.
Jim D. Seratt is the author of Another Way…The
Path Less Traveled (Creation House Press), from which this article is