The Outrageous Cross

Dave Gifford

READ : 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.(v. 18)

I first read today’s verses as a young person considering Jesus’ claims. Suddenly I realized the truth: no one but God could have invented the message of the New Testament. It is the most counter-intuitive idea ever proposed.

A God who becomes a human being to save an ungrateful humanity? A Messiah who triumphs over Satan by letting himself be crucified? A way of salvation in which people are made right with God by faith in what Jesus did for them rather than by striving to be religious or moral? A religion that did away with ingrained ceremonies and traditions such as Sabbath rules, temple sacrifices, and circumcision? A faith that challenged deeply-held racial divisions and gender roles? A Savior who fulfilled many ancient prophecies and predictions, but in surprising and unexpected ways?

I wonder: could people wishing to start a new religion have made all this up? If you intended to launch a brand-new faith, would you have put something as outrageous as a cross with a crucified Savior as its key component? And if you had, would you expect anyone to accept it? The gospel couldn’t be the product of religious hucksters or imaginative disciples. It can only be the revolutionary wisdom of God himself.

PRAYER

Lord, thank you for turning the world upside down with the startling secret of the cross.