The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are being destroyed. But it is the power of God for those of us who are being saved.
Today’s devotion is the first of two on this brief scripture. A second by Pastor Kathleen will appear on Monday, April 27.
The Apostle Paul was often blunt and he didn’t tell people what they wanted to hear. To take the cross, a symbol of Roman capital punishment, (to understand the ancient society’s revulsion, it would be like using the electric chair) and turn it into a symbol of faith seemed beyond foolish to Paul’s listeners. The Jews expected a warrior king to deliver them from Rome and the Greeks expected a philosopher, a man of wisdom to usher in a new age. To both the Jews and the Greeks the cross was a symbol of guilt, shame and failure, a stigma never to be removed. To them, Jesus’s death was meaningless. To us the cross is not a symbol, it is our reality.
But God’s plans are not our plans. God turns the expectations of the world upside down. Paul shows us that because Jesus’s death on the cross does not meet the expectations of the world, they see it as foolishness, to their own destruction. For the people who, by grace, believe that Jesus died for our sins, it brings salvation. In the cross, the world sees powerlessness and death, as children of the Kin(g)-dom of God we see the power of God and eternal life. It is through the power of God that the sacrifice, death and resurrection of Jesus pays the debt for our sins and gives us salvation. God’s power is the power of transformation. God transforms death into life and is transforming the world into his loving Kin(g)-dom. This is the amazing grace of the transforming power of God’s love for us through Jesus Christ.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
As Christians we often are viewed by the world as foolish for what we believe. Jesus commands us to love each other in a world that plays by its own rules. God calls on us to bring his transforming love through our work in this world. When in your life have you felt the transforming love of the power of God? How can you bring this love to others?
Prayer: God of Power and Resurrection, we love you and we thank you for Jesus and his sacrifice to save us from our sins. In this current world of pandemic, help us to live as people transformed by the power of God’s love. Be with us, guide us and give us your peace. Amen.