“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)
The cross of Jesus Christ is the most unifying and the most divisive event in all history. People can easily talk about all kinds of philosophies and religions, but when someone brings up Christ’s death on the cross, the conversation often radically changes. Some people get angry, some scoff, and some feel confused. It happened so long ago, what difference does it make to be today?
People in Paul’s day were no different. The Greeks loved to debate philosophies, but they didn’t have a category for God becoming a human and dying for us. That concept simply didn’t compute. It was foolish to them, just as it seems foolish to the people of our day who don’t understand the message of the gospel.
We grasp the phenomenal truth that Christ came to find us because we were lost and that He died for our sins as our substitute. Without Him, we had no hope. With Him, we have the most valuable possession in the universe; a relationship with Almighty God. We are well aware that it was grace and only grace that saved us. We have no power to accomplish anything toward forgiveness and eternal life, but God exercised His enormous strength to reach into our hearts, transform us, and make us new people.
We get it not because we’re smarter than the philosophers, but because God first took hold of us. For that, we can be thankful.