Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Scandal of the Cross

In I Corinthians 1:21-24, Paul tells us that God, in his wisdom, decided to use what man considers foolish to bring salvation. In other words, God’s wisdom purposely turns upside down the wisdom of men. He goes on to explain that gentiles seek for wisdom whereas Jews desire proof in the form of a sign. God’s message of the cross is foolishness to the gentiles and a stumbling block to the Jews. He purposely turned both upside down so that the power and true wisdom might belong to God alone.

The word “stumbling block” that he uses here is the word “skandalon” from which we get the word scandal. A skandalon was something that trips people up and impedes their easy progress. In Galatians 5:11, Paul explains the same thing when he tells us that if we accept a legalistic approach to salvation, the skandalon of the cross would cease. In other words, God does not want anything to block the wisdom of His approach by causing the stumbling block to be removed.

So as you consider the cross and what it means, do not forget that God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). God’s method of salvation is to have His only Son die a criminal’s death on a cross to take our punishment in order that He might set us free. This doesn’t make sense to the world and it causes God’s own people, the Jews, to stumble, but to us who are being saved it demonstrates both the power and wisdom of God.

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