This small sentence bears repeating, its taken from a fellow blogger, captain headknowledge:
If Christ crucified is missing in the sermon. Everything else loses all relevance! No matter how practical. Practicality minus the gospel equals impractical (the Law kills--the Gospel gives life!)http://capthk.blogspot.com/
In view of the now rampant frivolity of what passes for preaching these days, I find the exhortation to focus on the stauros that held the bleeding body of Christ more deep and relevant. Perhaps the contrast is what makes the blood so red.
When post modern preaching exhorts me to "use the keys" exemplefied in Scriptures to "open the doors of peace" in my life, my soul shudders. I cannot even concieve of the door to even use these keys. I cannot move my dead hands in the direction of the keys to make use of such an opportunity. These "practical" sermons have left out the very thing that can make peace happen...the Cross of Christ.
They call the dead to walk out of the tomb without the very power of Christ that gives life and strength to the corps. Christ called the name of Lazerus. Christ infused life in that body to obey the command to come forth. How can I, assuming I am a dead sinner, ever hope to use the keys of freedom unless Christ calls my name?
Take a moment to focus on the wood. Gaze up at the trail of blood that finds its source in the nail wounded hands and feet of a suffering, dying, yet kingly and powerful savior. Behold the brow that is marred by thorns. See the nails that bit deeply through his hands and hold him fast to the beam. As the dry, chapped lips part, they speak the name of his beloved..."live" even as he dies.
There in lies the practical. Therein lies the peace. Therein lies the freedom.
I find no sustinence in the meaningless prattlings of shallow men who find sound bites to be better than sound doctrine. I find no encouragement in the empty music that lilts my flesh, I can get that in a bar. I find my heart raised to life and resoaked in grace by the proclamation of the Cross of Jesus and the work HE did FOR me.
"I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2).