Holy Cross (September 14, 2017)
- First reading and Psalm
- Second reading
1 Corinthians 1:18-24New Living Translation (NLT)
18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Today is something called The Feast of the Holy Cross. It is a celebration of the triumph of the cross. To many, especially those outside the Christian faith, the cross seems like foolishness – it seems a waste. I’m sure that’s how the early disciples felt. They had been following Jesus for three years – they had given up everything to follow Jesus – and he ends up being crucified on an instrument of Roman torture.
Can you imagine being the disciples in the hours following the crucifixion of Jesus? I’m sure they felt like they had been played the fool. But the cross is not the end – there is triumph in the cross. How? Because while Jesus died on the cross and paid the penalty for our sins – there is more to the story – if there wasn’t, the story would be truly tragic. But three days later Jesus rose again, breaking the power of sin, hell, death, and the grave forever. We can have new life because of the cross – we can be made new because of the cross.
As Paul writes: Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God – for those who are called to salvation.