Saturday, July 12, 2008

The "Foolishness" of the Cross

From a Muslim friend on Skype (pardon the mistakes--English isn't his first language):

he can u Imagine that there is a judge in the court, and there are criminals. The judge should punish them for what they did, this is his job. Then suddenly this great judge says: (bring my only begotten son here. He pointed to the criminals then he told them (come kill my son and crucified him because I will let him to die for you sins. Is this a good Judge? Is this love? Is this the wisdom of God? Did he solve the problem or he committed another problem and another crime?

I would slightly disagree with my friend's summary of the atonement. God did not have to tell us to kill His Son--we killed Jesus readily because His holiness showed us how sinful we are, and we didn't like to see ourselves as being that bad!

However, in the main, his understanding of the death of Jesus as a substitute for our sins is correct. And yet, do you see how appalling the cross is to him?

This reminds me so much of what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1, particularly where he said, "Is this the wisdom of God?"

18 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. 19 For it is written:

“ I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

20 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? 21 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. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (NKJV)

Praise God for the cross, which exalts both the holiness and love of God, and shows our own goodness to be filthy rags. May I never glory in anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. "Is this the wisdom of God?" Yes!

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