By Treasurer Wayne Crownover | March 3, 2021
"The Offense of the Cross" - How do you deal with offense?
In Galatians 5:11, Paul talked about “The Offense of the Cross”. The cross is offensive to the Jews because of the message of salvation through Jesus. It was also offensive to Jesus, the Son of God. Phil. 2:8 says, “Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on the cross.”
Remember being offended? Wronged? Unjustly treated? Maybe even by someone you knew, loved, or respected? Or maybe by someone you didn’t even know? How did you handle that? How are you handling it?
How did Jesus handle Offense? Let’s see:
1. Jesus dealt with Injustice!
In Matt. 27:27-31; Luke 22:63-65 the guards treated Jesus unjustly! In fact, Luke 22:65 says, “they said many other insulting things to him!” Wow! Talk about injustice! Jesus was God! He didn’t deserve this! It was wrong! It wasn’t right!
He was called a blasphemer, sinner, rebel, a divider, insubordinate. They mocked him as a King. They put a purple robe on him (royalty), a crown of thorns on his head (king), blindfolded him and struck him. Luke 23:8-10 says, “they vehemently accused him.” It was unjust! It wasn’t right! All of this was offensive to our Creator and Holy God!
How does Jesus handle all this? He just stood there, hands tied, and took it…!
His words in Matt. 5:11-12 - “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
When we deal with injustices, offense, insults, remember, Jesus did too!
2. Jesus Stayed Committed to Kingdom Mission!
In Matt. 27:11-14 and Mark 15:1-5, Pilate asks him "why don’t you defend yourself?" Jesus makes no reply, not even to a single charge. How many have defended yourself? Wanted to defend yourself? What was said or done was offensive. When that happens, we often want to QUIT! Because we’re offended!! Hurt! We’ve All been there…
What did Jesus do? Did He Quit? Why did Jesus not quit during the offense? Because of KINGDOM MISSION!
Jesus could have called 10,000 waring angels at any moment! He could have said, “OK, that’s enough! I’m checking out! You hurt my feelings!
We Can’t let Satan use Offense to Interrupt Kingdom Mission!
- Can’t Quit Church! Why? Kingdom Mission!
- Can’t Quit serving! Why? Kingdom Mission!
- Can’t Quit on your calling! Why? Kingdom Mission!
- Can’t quit loving people! Why? Kingdom Mission!
Jesus took all the insults, lies, abuse, mistreatment…for the Kingdom Mission! He put aside his personal offense to fulfill the Kingdom Mission!
Sometimes we have to judge "if I say something will it help or hurt Kingdom Mission?" Do we just take it like Jesus did and say nothing? What’s better for the Kingdom?
Ever hear the phrase, “Take it for the team?” Jesus took it for the whole world! You and me! He loved you and me enough to overlook offense so we could spend all of eternity together in Heaven! Aren’t you glad Jesus didn’t get offended and quit?
Isaiah 53:10 says, It was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer… Jesus said, “I’m taking this one for the team! I’ll overlook the offense!”
Ever felt like you were being “sheared” like a sheep? Getting shaved and can’t do anything about it? Yeah, me too. We say:
"God, I’m offended…." He says, “I know”
"God, it’s wrong…" He says, “I know”
"God, that’s not who I am…" He says, “I know”
"God, it hurts…." He says, “I know”
"God, I’m angry…" He says, “I know”
Stay Committed to Kingdom Mission!
3. How do we deal with offense?
- Address it as soon as you can. If you can. Don’t let it linger or fester. Matt. 5:23-25 “Go to them, settle matters quickly…”
- “If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” - Rom. 12:18
You can’t reconcile with those who won’t reconcile.
3. Give it to God. Sometimes we have to pray Jesus' prayer on the cross in Luke 23:24 “Father Forgive Them.”
We give our offenses to God. Then we have to move on.
Here’s the Truth:
- Sometimes you should defend yourself.
- Sometimes you can’t defend yourself.
Sometimes even good people offend. Don’t hold it against them forever. We can’t hold bitterness, grudge, or hurt. A person can’t live a healthy free life if they’re being offended all the time! Grow some thick skin! Show biblical maturity!
Proverbs 17:9 – He who covers over an offense promotes LOVE! - what are you promoting?
Proverbs 19:11 – It is to a man’s glory to overlook an offense!
Remember, we have all offended God! He loved and forgave us.
Isaiah 59:12- For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities.
Job 13:23 How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Show me my offense and my sin.
As we celebrate Easter, let’s remember Jesus’ commitment to Kingdom Mission, even during the offenses of the Cross!