VITAL SIGNS: Unity is founded in the message of the Cross | 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 | Devotional
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
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. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
Looking in from the outside, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? A loving father sends his son on a mission to die. The means of death will be the most brutal known to man. The injustice of it all will be the basis for all justice. The excruciating (this word, meaning “out of the cross,” was created to describe the agonizing pain caused by the cross) pain will provide healing. The cries from the one on the cross will bring joy. This horrendous death, it is said, will somehow forgive sins. The one beaten beyond recognition will define love. The one hanging helplessly will conquer death. Right.
A Savior dying a criminal’s death is foolishness when you are looking in from the outside. It frustrates intelligent thinking. The wise man can’t figure it out. It doesn’t fit into the educational systems of the scholar. The concept defies all of the philosopher’s paradigms. But when God brings the outsider inside and turns on the light, everything makes sense.
The Holy One loved us so much that He was willing to come to this earth to die for our sins. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Far from being a helpless victim, God volunteered to die on our behalf. My trust in His work gives me peace with God. When God brings us inside, we find that the cross is indeed the power of the living God who paid for sin and conquered its penalty. While we may disagree on many things, unity is founded in the message of the Cross.
Lord Jesus, thank you for going to the cross. Thank you for taking on the most brutal of deaths for me. Thank you submitting yourself to the shame for me. Thank you for paying the penalty of my sin. Thank you for conquering death. And thank you for bringing me, the outsider, inside. In Your Name I pray, Amen.