“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. For it is written,
“’I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’
“…Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe…We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men…
“God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” 1 Corinthians 1:18-21,23-25,27-31
“We are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.” 2 Corinthians 2:15-16
How can the same message be so disparate toward and among its hearers? God’s truth does not change, yet man is fickle and stained with a rebel heart. God’s word is trustworthy, but unregenerate man is easily deceived and his affections stray, luring him away from spiritual realities. What is the remedy? The breach between God’s infinite wisdom and man’s finite (and foolish) understanding is impossibly wide, measured only by Christ’s outstretched arms on Calvary. The distance between His high thoughts and our low ones is reconciled only by Jesus. (Isaiah 55:8-9; Jeremiah 17:9)
When we consider the cross, there is a vast chasm between believers and unbelievers. The religious then who wanted a political savior, and today who want a spiritual Santa Claus, are dumbfounded at the ‘failure’ in His crucifixion. But the truly wise see that only in the humbling, condemnation, and death for our sake, has Jesus become to us Redeemer and Friend. (Philippians 2:5-8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 8:9)
Who can penetrate our natural foolishness with spiritual wisdom? Who can reverse the bleed of disbelief? Who can halt and heal destruction? Who can tame the wildest bent? Who can transform misappropriated affections? Who can blot out sin? Jesus! Jesus alone! And He does so supernaturally so man cannot boast. Man cannot take credit for a change of heart, awakening to faith, or inner regeneration. Where am I inflating my supposed wisdom and faltering in sanctification? When will I humble myself, yield to God’s righteous standards, and seek wisdom from above?
Father, teach me all the cross means, not only for my soul, but for the way I think and view all of life and others. Soak my mindset in Your wisdom, and Your power into my helpless flesh.