Cross of Christ
We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God– 1 Corinthians 1:23-24
What was the subject of the apostles’ message? Christ crucified.
Why? Not merely because it was a good example, or a tragic lesson. As the rest of this chapter, of this book, and of the New Testament clearly reveals, it was the crucifixion of Christ which put away our sins and provided for us the righteousness we needed for salvation.
To the Jews this message was a stumbling block. It was offensive to think all their good works, all their prayers, all their obedience to Moses’ law could not save them. And especially to hear that they had to trust in this lowly Jesus of Nazareth for their salvation.
To the Greeks this message was utter foolishness. Whereas the Jews were religious, the Greeks were intellectual. The whole idea of salvation through a crucified carpenter was nonsense to their philosophical minds. While many of them had theories about life, purpose, meaning, and even salvation, the cross of Christ was certainly not among the plans they had formulated.
Yet, many Jews did receive the message of Christ crucified, and countless Greeks embraced Jesus as their Lord and Savior! What made the difference?
Some, Paul says, were called. To them Christ was powerful enough to save them from dead law service and wise enough to transcend their best philosophies. To them Jesus was not offensive or foolish; he was salvation from their limitations!
How do you view the cross? Is it offensive and foolish, or is it powerful and wise and liberating?