1 Corinthians 1:18-25
Paul Challenges us to think of and have a preference to God’s wisdom, as opposed to human
wisdom. He begins this in verse 18 of Chapter one, “the message of the cross is complete absurdity to
those who are headed for ruin, but to us who are experiencing salvation it is the power of God” . It is
something that is meant to shock it’s listeners, but for many who have always believed, we lose it’s
meaning. That is why we do not understand many non-believers and they do not understand us. The
Gospel message really does sound like absurdity to them. The shock of this message is the starting point
by which they can believe. Unfortunately, there are many Christians who do not really understand this
message and just pass it over and avoid it altogether. This is one of the big reasons why less and less
people are in the pews. They are thinking more with human pragmatism than with God’s wisdom. They
think humanity can save itself and therefore rejected God. How blind we have become!
To hold up a crucifix and declare that this is our God! The is the God we emulate! This is the God
who saves us! But how can He save us if He is dead! Most people do not know that He rose from the
dead. The cross and the crucifix are symbols of God’s love for us, and most people do not know this.
Even many Christians may talk about it, but have not internalized this reality. We are in need of a savior!
Not just any savior, but The Savior! Jesus is the only one by which we can be saved!
That is the reality of our plight, though we may not know or understand this. We walk merrily
down the street with streets so packed we cannot see what is ahead of us. All we know is that
everybody else seems to be doin g it, so we walk on with false hopes until we get to the end. All of the
sudden a cliff appears, but the huge crowd pushes us on over the cliff to our own perill! But thank God
God will, “destroy the wisdom of the wise and thwart the the cleverness of the clever” (19). God will be
there for us, if we turn to him, not just outwardly with our actions (which is needed), but also with our
hearts. It is the “absurdity of the Gospel” (v21) that tests the person to make him turn to Jesus with his
heart in faith. “We preach Christ crucified” for a reason (v23). It keeps us humble because it is a
reminder of the cost of our salvation. The blood on the cross came from a specific person for a specific
reason. That is the difference between a crucifix and a cross. Both are good. The cross reminds us that
Jesus rose from the dead. We need this reminder so that we would not despair. But the crucifix reminds
us of the dear price Jesus was willing to pay for us. The crucifix came before the cross and gave the cross
Jews asked for signs; they got one. The resurrection was the greatest of signs they could have
received. The Greeks asked for wisdom (v22). The cross of Jesus is the greatest piece of wisdom for
anybody to contemplate. It was the wisdom of God that He decided to do such a thing. Without mercy
on the cross, there would be no hope for us. Without His love on the cross, there would be no
motivation for us. Without this hope and love, society cannot change and will inevitably consume itself.
What seems to be “God’s folly, is wiser than Men” (v25). But it is also “more powerful than men” (25).
It transforms society into a more loving society. It starts at the individual level where people make
decisions to love each other as Christ has loved us (Jn 15:12). The cross has the power to give life. A
dead piece of timber meant to deal death to humans, now becomes the tree of life. Like the snake that
was put on Moses’ staff, the snake that was meant to deal death to the people because of their sins
(Num 21:9), was something to look at for their healing, so we now look upon whom we have crucified
and be saved. It is always important to keep in our minds how He chose to save us. It is the wisdom of
God and the power of God (v24).