Many of us have heard stories of heroism resulting from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. It was gut-wrenching to watch the events unfold that day and later learn of how so many died. Yet many were also rescued.
One famous account that bears repeating is how iron-worker Frank Silechhia factored into the tragedy at ground zero. As he was helping in the rescue efforts, he noticed two steel beams in the shape of a cross standing upright in the rubble.
In the days, weeks, and months afterward, Frank often took heart-broken visitors to the site, serving as a sort of tour guide. That cross was and is a striking symbol of God’s love, and has comforted many by its silent testimony of the divine Presence in a place of great suffering. Day after day, Frank led famous people as well as ordinary citizens to the cross, as they paid their respects to the loved one(s) they had lost in the devastation and ruin.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.
As hard as it seems, the answer to the world’s terrible pain and evil is not a philosophical argument, a politician’s ramblings, or a theological debate on good v.s. evil. The only and all sufficient answer is Calvary’s cross, where in unfathomable grace, Jesus the God who became man, took upon Himself the burden of our sins and shame. The apostle Peter wrote long ago that, “He (Jesus) bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
If you have not been to Calvary’s cross, let me take you there. Jesus died for you and me, and then rose from the dead, victorious. Believe in Him and you shall be saved from the penalty and pain of sin (1 Corinthians 1:21 and Galatians 6:14). Through God’s action, sin is atoned for.
Chi Alpha Campus Ministries takes its name from Paul’s second letter to the first-century Corinthians. In chapter 5, verses 19-20, Paul wrote that, “God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us (His followers) the message of reconciliation. We are therefore, Christ’s ambassadors, as though God was making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.”
What a privilege for the men and women who follow Jesus as Lord and Savior. God takes the initiative in redemption, which is the restoration and fulfillment of His purposes in creation (v 17), and this takes place in Christ, through which all things were made (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16). We who are the recipients of divine reconciliation now have the privilege and obligation to be heralds to share His message of reconciliation with the rest of the world (v 19-20).
The angel told the women at the empty tomb to “come and see and go and tell” (Matthew 28:6-7). If you put your faith, hope, and trust in the resurrected Jesus, you are His ambassador. What difference should it make in your life to know that God chooses the weak and lowly people of the world to do His work?
Serve globally. God used iron-worker Frank to lead many to the cross. He wants to use you to lead many others to the cross as well. The pathway to heaven begins at the foot of the cross.
Love is a verb,
©2018 by Mike Olejarz