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. As the Scriptures say,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
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.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. It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:18-31 | New Living Translation (NLT)
I am writing this on Monday night of Holy Week. Earlier this evening I came across a post on Facebook about someone preaching on the foolishness of the cross. Which considering that this Easter Sunday falls on April 1st – otherwise known as April Fool’s Day. When you think about it. The resurrection is the ultimate April Fool’s joke.
In this passage Paul talks about the foolishness of the cross. Just this past week, I preached that Jesus died. In Hebrews we hear the words, Jesus endured the cross, disregarding its shame. When you think about the whole story of Jesus – it does seem like there could have been a better way. To our human minds, the idea of one man – who also happened to be God, dying for the sins of the whole world seems a little out there. Paul acknowledges this. For those who don’t believe – it seems foolish. He even goes on to say that the wisdom of the world makes this all look or appear foolish.
But the world’s wisdom is not how we know Christ – it is not how we know God. Paul says, “When we preach that Christ was crucified…the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.” I know many people who think what I preach is foolishness. I remember having a conversation many years ago with a friend. He said, in essence, you believe what you believe and I’m fine with that, but I’ll believe what I believe.
Then Paul goes on to tell us – but to those called by God to salvation, Christ IS the power of God and the wisdom of God! What appears to be a foolish plan to our human wisdom is really a brilliant plan to save us – the people that God created from our sins. Some may ask, why did God allow us to do what we wanted. He could have made us love him unconditionally. It’s a good point, but, if God had created us to love Him unconditionally like He loves us – what kind of love is that. A forced love is no love at all.
So even though God created us, he left us choose to follow Him or not. It all started in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve chose – and since then, we humans have continued to choose. Many times we choose wrongly – we follow our human nature rather than the will of God. But God loved the world so much that He gave us his Son – to die on a cross – to pay the penalty for our sin – that if we believe in Him – we might have eternal life.
The cross seems foolish to human wisdom, but to those called by God, Christ is the power and wisdom of God.