The Foolishness of the Cross

For some of us, I think, it’s hard to understand why people look at the Cross and Jesus’ sacrifice as nonsense. The Bible says that to unbelievers the message of the Cross is foolishness. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (NASB)

I’ve been saved since I was 11 years old. I was raised in church from the time I was two. I guess because I’ve been around church and have heard the story of Jesus all my life, it doesn’t seem foolish to me. When I was 11, I felt like God was pursuing me in my dreams, showing me things that left me unsettled and sometimes very scared. I knew I didn’t have Jesus in my heart, but it wasn’t until one night in our youth group at church on a Sunday night, that I had to come to a decision. A girl came to our group as a guest of one of the other kids, and she asked a very simple question… “Why are you a Christian?” I knew I wasn’t, and at that point, I knew I had to make a decision about what to do with Jesus. I found out later she wasn’t searching or wanting to decide for Christ, she was there to stir up controversy. But, for me, it was a turning point. I firmly believe God placed her there to bring me to that crossroad and decide whether I would accept Jesus.

To that girl, the way of the Cross was foolishness. I don’t know if she ever came to know Jesus as Savior, but I know for me, it was life-changing. The Cross is a dividing line between the world and Believers. It separates the saved from the unsaved. The Bible talks about the sheep and the goats. The sheep are God’s chosen, the ones who have accepted Jesus as Savior. The goats are the unbelievers, the worldly, the Sadducees and Pharisees, those who are religious on the outside with no change on the inside. (Matthew 25:32-33) The Cross divides between saved and unsaved.

In his commentary on I Corinthians, J Vernon McGee describes it as follows. “The cross divides men. The cross divides the saved from the unsaved, but it doesn’t divide the saved people. It should unite them, you see. A Dutch artist painted a picture called “Hie Last Judgment.” It depicts the throne of God, and away from that throne the lost are falling into space. And as they fall, they cling together. This is an accurate picture of the one world that men are working for today. The lost want to come together in one great unity, and they are going to accomplish a great union in the last days. But cutting across the grain of the ecumenical environment and the contemporary thought is the gospel of Christ. The Lord Jesus called Himself a divider of men, and the dividing line is His cross. The preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto the saved person it is the power of God.”

As believers, we receive the power of God through accepting Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. That’s why the Apostle Paul tells us, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13 KJV) We also receive power through the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:8) That power gives us the strength to live for Christ so that others may see Jesus in us. The Cross unites Believers together and we become one family through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Praise God for the “foolishness of the Cross!”

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