Friday, March 9: 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.
1 Corinthians 1:18
Paul points out that God’s salvation solution was brilliantly simple: He gave His Son to die on a cross, atoning for our sins. For those who believe, this is the central concept on which our faith is hinged, and the cross serves as its powerful symbol. Nonbelievers don’t get it; they think it is foolish. More educated or more intelligent people may see the crucifixion as unwise, unnecessary or futile. However, God says, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate” (v. 19). Mankind has evolved immensely over the past two thousand years – our technology, our knowledge of the world (and universe!), our awareness of others and ourselves, even our understanding of God, faith, and a person’s inner thoughts. Yet Paul reiterates, “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (v. 20). Information, scientific research, knowledge, even greater religious scholarship cannot explain God’s love and His plan for our redemption. His sacrifice of His Son defies the wisdom of the world. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” (v. 25).
The power of the cross is simple, but it transcends man’s logic, discovery, and experience. While God does not discourage or disparage or limit our development, He reminds us that all we need to do is recognize the cross of Christ and accept His grace – believe and follow Him. Faith can’t rest on mere human knowledge and wisdom; it is a divine gift. “But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block [for those who don’t believe]… but to those whom God has called [it is] Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (v. 23-24).
Prayer: Dear Father, strengthen our faith and reliance on the cross. Thank you for Christ’s sacrifice which saves us all who believe. Amen.