The Preaching of the Cross
March 22, 2013
In 1 Corinthians 1 the apostle Paul contrasts the message of the cross with the wisdom of this world. He shows in a brilliant way how the preaching of the cross runs counter to man’s wisdom and thinking. Man is full of pride, arrogance, self-sufficiency, and self-centeredness. To man’s wisdom, the cross of Jesus Christ seems utterly foolish and ridiculous. The Roman cross was an instrument of torture. It was the place where criminals were punished and killed. The cross represented shame, humiliation, suffering, cruelty, and death. How could a man who died in such a horrible way be accepted as the Son of God? And especially, as a Savior?
Paul says, to the Jews, this message was a stumbling block because they desired signs and miracles; to the Gentiles, this message was foolishness because they wanted eloquence, sophistication, and wisdom. With great insight into the heart of God, Paul rightly says in verse 18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Jesus paid for the penalty of our wrong-doing on the cross when He shed His blood. Because of that sacrifice, all men can find forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Jesus’ triumphant resurrection from the dead affirmed and validated His death and claims to give eternal life to all who believe in Him!
In verse 21 Paul says, “God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” And in verse 24, “…Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” God has given His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the ultimate sacrifice of His life for our sins. It is through the message of the cross that we see the love and grace of God displayed for mankind. To the wisdom of man–this message seems ridiculous; but to those who open their hearts in faith and accept Jesus as the Son of God–there is life, freedom, joy and hope. I celebrate with joy the powerful message of the cross of Jesus!!!
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9