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. For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise person?
Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age?
Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
Knowledge and power. Two things that men have sought after since the beginning of time and all throughout history. Even up to this very generation we live in, this pursuit continues to rage on.
Millions of best selling books, Cd’s, dvds, and movies are sold each year, millions of YouTube channels with millions of people expressing and perpetuating their various ideas, opinions and beliefs, while the greatest wisdom that this world could ever afford sits collecting dust upon the shelves of most.
The Holy Bible.
To the first century Greek mindset, there didn’t appear to contain any beauty or wisdom to be gleaned from a story about a suffering Savior. Not when the competing mythological stories of the day about Zeus, Odin, Hermes, Artemis and hundreds more spoke of supposed ‘saviours’ who peaked men’s truly vain ideas of power. Valiant men; massive and strong; taking on and slewing thousands with a supernatural arsenal of weaponry; fierce in battle…
A crucified and bloodstained Savior standing next the likes of Zeus in the first century was the equivalent of The Incredible Hulk standing next to Spongebob Squarepants in their estimations.
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
To the Jewish mindset seeking supernatural signs, a pierced and punished Savior demonstrated no supernatural wonder.
Their hearts were so hardened to the truth of God that even while Jesus performed miraculous healing after healing right before their eyes, their only conclusive desire was to murder him rather than to recognize the majesty of the one to whom they claimed that they had long awaited for Messiah.
I say ‘claimed’ because even in preparation of anticipating that Jesus might actually fulfill his word to rise from the dead, they continually took steps to ensure that their hearts would never receive such a report. They did so when they requested that two Roman soldiers would be posted to guard the tomb just in case he actually did rise.
That seems equivalent to to asking someone to show you a magic trick then closing your eyes in order to claim that it never happened; a self defeating mechanism engrained in the very request to ensure that the results would never yield the answer you claim you earnestly desired.
Is it any wonder that Jesus called them ‘Hypocrites!’
In the 21st century, though many of these devices have taken on a new face, we stand guilty of the same erroneous pursuits away from the simplicity of the power of the Gospel and the wisdom of God… Christ crucified.
Only at the cross do we come face to face with an overwhelming convergence of truth and lies, love and hate, justice and mercy, holiness and wrath, life and death, heaven and earth!
To the pretentious and haughty, the wisdom is hidden under the end of their nose as they condescend to God’s plan of redemption.
To the sort who holds their eyes wide shut, they fool only themselves that nothing can be seen of immensely spectacular proportions.
Yet the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom…
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength…
“Father forgive them…” a merciful final plea… “They don’t even know what their doing” – to themselves…
I implore you this morning as I do many others; set your hearts meditation upon the cross of Christ, and consider deeply what glorious revelations lay waiting to be found there.
And may the eyes of your understanding be enlightened to the mysteries of Holy Awesome Love!