Christ Is God's Power
18The message about the cross doesn't make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God's power at work. 19 As God says in the Scriptures,
“I will destroy the wisdom
of all who claim
to be wise.
I will confuse those
who think they know
20 What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn't God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish? 21 God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him.
Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach. 22Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise. 23But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish. 24Our message is God's power and wisdom for the Jews and the Greeks that he has chosen. 25Even when God is foolish, he is wiser than everyone else, and even when God is weak, he is stronger than everyone else.
The 19th Century preacher C.H. Spurgeon noted that, “When the gospel was preached, instead of being accepted and admired, one universal hiss went up to heaven; men could not bear it; its first preacher they dragged to the brow of the hill… nailed him to the cross…”
Most people ignore Christ. Some tolerate him. Others hate him with enraged passion. None of those reactions are new. And they are also directed at the very instrument on which Christ paid for our redemption.
Until recently, outspoken hatred for the cross seemed confined primarily to radical Islamist countries in that Middle East. But in my small Western city recently, a department store cashier refused to serve a customer wearing a cross, stating that to do so would violate deeply held religious beliefs. Someone alerted the manager, who refused to take action.
Since I was a child, I’ve sung the hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross,” never imagining that the love we profess for the cross would one day be tested in the West; that our respect for the symbol of our redemption could cause us to become, to those who hate Christianity, as much despised, emblems of shame and reproach as Christ himself. What do comfortable Western Christ-followers do with that?
Jesus himself provided the answer. “God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me. Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven… Matthew 5:11,12a CEV”
Mighty is the Power of the Cross by Chris Tomlin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8sw-g6P544
Father, Jesus left Heaven to carry the cross to eternity’s blackest moment, three days before its brightest. Shore up my resolve to cling to the truth of the cross, to cherish and defend it with the lovingkindness of Christ, and to joyfully share its power with even those who hate. Amen.