1 Corinthians 1:18
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
It is funny how often God tells his followers something very directly, and for some reason, we fail to believe him. In the Old Testament, God promised Israel judgment for disobeying his law, and the nation refused to believe. In the New Testament, Jesus told his disciples exactly what he would do including his death and resurrection, and they could not believe. And here, God tells us how a great portion of the world will view the cross of Christ, and we do not believe him.
God is clear that the cross of Christ will have two dramatically different effects on those who hear about it. For some, those who are being saved by God, the cross of Christ will be the message of life and hope. Those whose hearts are awakened by God will see the cross as wonderful, glorious, the only hope they have to be forgiven by God.
To others, the cross will be utter folly, foolishness. I do not think we use those words enough in our modern culture to get the significance. To those who are separated from the grace of God, the cross will be stupid, backward, idiocy, moronic—pick your pejorative term. Those who are not in Christ will, according to the Scripture, think it offensive and crazy.
What happens when we finally believe God here? I suppose it depends on our own commitment to God and his glory. When committed to Christ, we will willingly and openly share the good news of salvation with everybody. We will know that many people in the world will think we are nuts. We will decide that this is OK if we can only speak the truth and glorify our God by sharing the story of our Savior and his offered grace.
If we find ourselves wavering in our commitment to Christ, we will be more and more offended that those who are not in Christ think badly of us. We will be bothered deep down that the world calls us crazy. We will strive to be seen as smart, as sophisticated, and as appealing. We might, if we are not careful, try to play down the things about the cross that offend the world for the sake of being accepted by the world.
Christians, let this day, as we approach the day when we most remember the crucifixion of our Lord, be a day when we believe our Savior. Yes, the world will think we are crazy. And, yes, by the grace of God, others will see that the cross is the only way for sinful humanity to enter the presence of God and be forgiven. Let us not hide from the scorn of the people who think us foolish. Instead, let us faithfully proclaim God’s word about God’s only plan of salvation, and let us do so without shame. God is still God. He knows the world will think his plan crazy. But, in the end, God will be glorified. In the end, all will see that Christ is the only Savior, that Jesus is the only name under heaven whereby people can be saved.