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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

Message of the Cross, the Power of God


 

Today’s Reading:

1Corin. 1:18-25

“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, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’ Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God; it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (vv.18-25)

 

Why is the message of the cross ... foolishness to those who do not believe? (v.18) It is a mark of them that are perishing not to recognise and appreciate the things which lead to salvation of God. And so, we who bear witness to things of Christ should not be discouraged or lose heart when those outside who do not believe make mockery by persecuting. Paul, through whom we learn a lot about our Christian faith, once persecuted ‘The Way’ - the church.


The phrase ‘being saved’ present tense refers to the process by which Jesus Cross transforms our life through the power of God – the Holy Spirit (v.18). The church offers the sign of the Cross to those who request for sign. The Cross is to be reverenced, for whatever the sign may be, there Jesus will be. Preaching the message of the Cross is power of God, because Christ is the power and wisdom of God the Father; He is the brightness of the Father’s glory (Heb.1:3); He is the substantial and the perfect image of the invisible God, wherever Christ is, there is the uncreated and saving grace of God. His Cross restores us to immortality and stirs up in us the desire for things of heaven.


‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent (v.19). Paul here uses Isa. 29:14 to emphasise Jesus’ point that: a) God’s way of thinking is not the same as the world’s that is, as a normal human wisdom; b) that God alone offers eternal life which the world cannot give; c) It is by the name of Jesus alone we are saved, and that Jesus is the wisdom of God. This is why we can spend years accumulating wisdom and yet not have a cordial relationship with God. For us to have eternal life and the joy of a cordial relationship with our Saviour, we must acknowledge and come to the crucified and the risen Christ.


Some of the Jews consider the message of Good New of Salvation to be foolish: i) because they expected the Messiah to be a conquering king who will come with signs and miracles. ii) They also expected Jesus to restore the throne of David. iii) they could not reconcile someone crucified as being their Saviour. The Greeks too consider the message of the Cross because they do not believe in bodily resurrection. They believe that death was a defeat and not victory and so could not see in Jesus, the powerful characteristic of their mythological gods, so they may have concluded that no reputable person could be crucified.


Today, most people still consider the Good News of Jesus Christ foolish. Our world worships power, wealth, riches and influence. But Jesus Christ came as a humble, poor servant, and he offers his kingdom to those who believe and have faith; not to those who do all kinds of good deeds to acquire or earn salvation. This is why he said it is expedient for him to go so that the father would send the Holy Spirit to us. This is what everybody knowingly or unknowingly; consciously or unconsciously looking for; because that is what was lost through Adam. It looks foolish to the world, but Christ is the mighty power of God, the only way we can be saved. And so, knowing Christ personally is the only and greatest wisdom anyone can have.

OLUFUNMILAYO TITILOLA ADEKUSIBE


Prayer:

  1. Father, forgive me in any way I may have mocked the message of the Cross; give me more understanding of the message of salvation of Christ, in Jesus name.

  2. Every consequences of ancestral idol worship of my forefathers upon my life be wipe away by the blood of Jesus, in Jesus name.

  3. I anchor my life to the source of the power of Jesus name.

  4. Father, that I may know Christ, and experience the power of his resurrection, in Jesus name.

  5. Father, fan the flame of your revival upon your Church, and empower her to live in your righteousness, in Jesus name.

  6. Father, with your mighty power demolish strongholds of wickedness in our nation and let your finger run through the length and breadth of the nation, in Jesus name.

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