Foolishness

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. (1Corinthians 1:18)

In some people’s minds, the cross is a pretty piece of jewelry that’s worn around the neck.  For those who are a little more adept at history and culture, the cross is an unusually morbid thing that unenlightened Christians are attached to.  To the ancient mind, the cross was a place of unspeakable pain, torture, shame, and contempt.  It was a punishment reserved for the worst of the worst, not for someone meant to be venerated. Paul said that the Christian message of the cross seemed like nothing more than “foolishness” (our English word “moron”) to those who don’t grasp the truth of it.

Here’s the irony of it all.  The very thing that seems morbid, shameful, or even foolish to men is what Paul calls the power of God, even the power of God that leads to salvation to everyone who believes (Rom. 1:16).

How could we value a God who is related to something so horrible?  We are in awe of the cross because it’s where Jesus bore all the shame and contempt that were meant for us.  While my sin separates me from God, Jesus died to pay for and remove that sin. This is not foolishness. This is love. O the wonderful cross.