The Key Ingredient
Scripture Reading — 1 Peter 2:21-25
“[Christ] himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness.
1 Peter 2:24 —
Borscht is a popular soup with its origins in Ukrainian cuisine. The classic borscht recipe might include all kinds of vegetables and meats. But there’s one key ingredient—a red beet that gives the soup its famous deep reddish-purple color. No beets, no borscht.
Do you know the key ingredient of Christianity? It’s the cross of Christ. It’s true that sincere believers sometimes debate fine points of the Christian faith. But there can be no Christianity without the redemptive message of the cross.
The great theologian Martin Luther put it this way: “No man understands the Scriptures, unless he be acquainted with the cross… The cross alone is our theology.”
The historic good news is that Christ died on the cross for our sins, the innocent for the guilty. Thanks to that, his followers can now receive spiritual healing— new life! As we are joined in faith with Christ’s cross and resurrection, we live new lives and present ourselves to God as his instruments for righteousness.
Some people try to be creative. They concoct new religious ideas and beliefs under the name of Christianity. But if the cross of Christ is no longer at the center, you no longer have the gospel.
The cross shows us the power of God’s love and mercy and gives us the hope of salvation.
Lord, thank you for sending your Son to die for us. Make us worthy of his cross! And help us to take up our crosses and follow you. Amen.