Our text Sunday is one that you might not be familiar with. It is found in 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 and let me just say, Paul is in rare form. Paul was writing to the Corinthian church, challenging them to be unified as the body of Christ. He calls their attention back to what they have in common when he says, "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."
After reading this statement and the subsequent passage, I want to ask you a question: Is the cross foolish? To the Jews it was because they were looking for a Messiah, one who would overthrow the oppressive Roman government. No Messiah would die on a cross...that's foolish. To the Greeks (Romans), the cross was foolish as well. They only crucified the worst criminals...why would the Messiah die a criminal's death? Furthermore, they were cultured people who were known for their understanding and philosophy. Wouldn't a leader be well versed in the ancient writings and be able to prove himself with a rich understanding of history? Jesus did not do these things therefore He could not have been who He claimed to be. I told you, the cross is foolish.
The cross was rejected by many in that day, and sadly, it is rejected in our day as well. The cross seems foolish to many, some 2,000 years later. The cross seems so old fashioned...shouldn't God communicate with us on Facebook or Twitter? Shouldn't God do something new, instead of using a form of torture to communicate how He feels to us. Furthermore, the cross makes us feel guilty...and that is not what we want to hear about on Sunday during worship. Don't we want to be cajoled with cliches and have our egos stroked with how good we are? The cross is foolish to many...
With that said, however, let's read what Paul says again, "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." The cross is the power of God for us as Christians. It is God's proof of love, forgiveness, and hope.
That is why you can call me a fool...because I believe in the power of the cross as the way to salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Foolish? Maybe, but to us who are being saved, it is anything but.
In His love and grace,