This last week I had the great opportunity to preach at “The Stand” a youth gathering at a church in Camas, Washington. My good friend Steven is the youth pastor and he set a theme for the night as “Scandalous” which was influenced by the book by the same name by D.A. Carson.
I focused on the division between Romans 1:18-23 and 3:21-24, that of sin and the cross. The message was that there are two scandals and we are to choose the one we will embrace.
The first scandal is one all of humanity takes part in. It is the scandal of sin. A perfect creation despises the creator and turns from him in pursuit of our own pleasure and glory – but the perfection is ruined and we have hearts of darkness missing what we were made for. You have no choice but to experience this scandal but there is another where you can find hope.
This hopeful scandal is the scandal of the cross. A perfect God presents himself, Jesus Christ, as the sacrifice needed to cover the scandal of sin and reconcile creation to him. It is a bloody, messy and undeserved cross but Christ takes it on and defeats sin, defeats death and gives those that believe in him new life.
These are the two scandals you get to choose from. There are no other roads. The absolute truth is that you are faced with the path of death or the path of life.
Just as I challenged the youth to choose the scandal of the cross, I hope that you too will live in response to the cross. Embrace the scandal…