1 Corinthians 1:18-31; 1 Kings 14; Joel 2:1-11
C.S. Lewis wrote a book called The Great Divorce talking about the separation of Heaven and Hell. In the book he described a “wise” theologian who pontificated on the great things that Jesus could have done if only He hadn’t gone to the cross and died at such an early age. In the past, we might have laughed at that. Today however, there are too many people who would replace the message of the cross with one that appears to show much more wisdom. Paul had those in his day as well that enounced the message of the cross as foolishness. To them, and to our world today, Paul would say, “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.” (I Corinthians 1:18) The Jews demanded signs to show that Jesus was Messiah while ignoring the signs He fulfilled. The Greeks thought themselves wise and made wisdom an exalted virtue. The cross was not the sign of the Messiah to the Jew, it was a sign or powerlessness. The idea that God would die for people did not match the concept of wisdom for the Greeks and thus both Jews and Greeks denied the crucixion and the resurrection. To them, Paul described the cross as the wisdom and power of God. To our world, which has “grown beyond the need for God,” Paul brings an important message – not only does God exist, His power and wisdom is shown in the cross. Churches and individuals often discount the message of the cross in seeking to draw people into the church, but a church that doesn’t preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified is nothing more than a social club.
Oh Lord, I love the message of Your cross. I am so grateful that You died for us on the cross and shed Your blood to bring us forgiveness and restore us to fellowship with You. I pray for my world that believes that it’s too wise to need You or the cross. Let the people I come into contact with know and experience Your love and grace.