Friday, April 02, 2010

The Foolishness of the Cross

Good Friday is the day that we remember the crucifixion of Christ Jesus.  It is good that we remember the reality that Jesus, in obedience to the Father, laid down His life for the sacrifice of sin.  My concern is that for us who have been around this message all of our lives that we don’t realize how foolish this is, the fact that out of death comes life or the fact that winning emerges from losing. Read the apostle Paul’s words:
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written,
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart. 
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians 1:18-25; ESV)

Notice the fact that Paul never says that the cross is anything but folly or foolishness.  Yes, we find power and transformation through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but I am not certain that we understand its significance.  While the cross fits into God’s plan to rescue creation from sin, decay, and death and therefore is the product of His wisdom, I am not sure that we are able to make total sense of it. I realize that systematic theologies have explained the cross in doctrines like justification, atonement, and sanctification, but I wonder unless we find the cross at least a little odd that we haven’t missed something.

While we may never grasp the full wisdom of God displayed in the cross we can still find healing in its purpose.  While we may wonder how the death of one man saves all those who believe in Him we can still put our faith in Him.  You see for us to take advantage of the gift of life, forgiveness, and mercy that is found in the death and resurrection of Jesus we don’t need to understand it in all of its complexities, but rather we need to trust the One at work through it all. 

The power of the Cross doesn’t lie in our understanding, but in God’s love and grace.  We may not understand the purpose of the cross, but we can trust the One at work through the Cross.  The point of Good Friday is not that we understand God’s ways, but that we trust God’s love.

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