And The Rock Was Christ by Kim Reisman

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Scripture Focus:

I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:1-4



I grew up in the 1960’s. These were tumultuous years, and yet musicians rose to great heights of insight. In their protest songs, they spoke the prophetic word. In many of their ballads, they diagnosed the human predicament, and sometimes offered a way of healing and reconciliation. In some haunting lines, Paul Simon did a masterful piece of diagnosis – a diagnosis that is still on target.

Simon spoke as a representative of all humankind in a song entitled “I am a Rock.” In the verses of the song he talks about being behind a wall in a fortress “deep and mighty” that no one could penetrate; about having no need of friendship because friendship causes pain; about not wanting to awaken the love sleeping in his memory because if he had never loved he would have never cried; about the slumber of feelings that have died and he doesn’t want to bring them to life; about being shielded in his armor, touching no one and no one touching him. In the song’s chorus Simon named himself as a rock that felt no pain and an island that never cried.

Though an apt diagnosis, Paul Simon offered no prescription. But the Apostle Paul does. Either you will be a rock, or Jesus Christ will be your Rock.

In our Scripture passage for today, Paul calls the Corinthian Christians attention to Moses and the people of Israel coming out of captivity. He says they all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual water. “They drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that Rock was Christ.”

What an image! And the Rock was Christ.

This is the message of the New Testament. It’s the heart of the Christian faith. God’s grace for our salivation and our “walk in newness of life” is given in and through his Son, Jesus – his life, teachings, death, and resurrection. Paul’s depiction of this grace builds to a climax in Romans 5: “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly … God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6, 8)

We are made right with God by grace. This grace is operative in our lives through faith. Through faith, we receive God’s gracious offer and accept Christ and his death for the forgiveness of our sin. Through faith, we’re pardoned and brought back into right relationship with God.

Go back to our image of the rock.

If you’re a rock, you won’t hurt, you won’t cry, you won’t feel pain because you won’t love. You won’t laugh either; you won’t know joy and you won’t live very much. But if Jesus is your rock, you’ll stand on it; and others will join you. Sometimes you’ll laugh, sometimes you’ll cry, sometimes you’ll rejoice, sometimes you’ll be really sad – but always you’ll work to live in the grace and love of God.

The Rock, Christ Jesus, will become the keystone for everything God wants to create in you and through you. And in some final time, we will rejoice in the love of the One who gave us life, the One who loved us so much that he hung on a cross for us.

The essence of faith is trust. The Christian faith is more than believing. It’s believing enough to trust. To have faith in Christ is to be willing to trust our lives to him. As you pray and fast, my prayer for you is that you will not only believe, but trust that Christ loved you so much that he gave himself up for you. And trusting Christ in that way will empower you to make him your Rock.

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