The foolishness of the Cross of Christ


It’s Good Friday today. Or Long Friday as we call it in Danish. And both names are appropriate. It was the longest day in Jesus’ life, but it was also good, because he knew that this was the purpose he had come to fulfill. He knew that without him going to the cross, we could never be able to be with God today and forevermore. 

I embrace the foolishness of the cross! I love the cross! I am with Paul who said that he would only preach Christ, and Christ crucified! The cross is foolishness to all who don’t believe. “What’s the point of that cross? What’s the relevance? What kind of a king hangs naked and dying on a tree? What kind of person builds his or her life on somebody else dying for them thousands of years ago?

The questions are many and Christ on the cross is ridiculed and mocked today as well as he was two thousands year ago on the hill outside of Jerusalem. 

1. Corinthians 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; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate’. Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength

Let me paraphrase verse 22: “Religious people (Jews) demand signs, wonders and miracles and a king that is powerful and never dies, and intellectual postmodern people (Greeks) demand logical explanations and arguments that they deem reasonable, but we (Christians) preach Christ crucified“. That’s my message! The man hanging on the Cross is the hope for you and me and all of us. It’s the hope for the cynical, depressed, self-obsessed man who hates all religions. It’s the hope for the Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Atheist who worships versions of God that do not have life and only lead to misery and bondage. It’s the hope for the successful businessman, actor, sports super star or whoever makes the front pages. It’s the hope for the tired, lonely, abused and crying. It’s the hope for all of us!

Isaiah 53:6 describe the condition of all of us before we encounter Christ: “We all, like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to HIS OWN WAY“. That’s how we come into this world. Confused. Turning our own way. Lost to try to make life work through our own resources and strength. But we can’t create the abundant life we’re looking for. We must come to a place of meeting Christ as he is hanging on the cross with open wounds. There is healing there. There is healing for every single wound you have on your soul and on your body. There is healing for abuse, rape, self-hatred, whatever the problem may be, however life has pierced you. There is hope. Isaiah 53:5: “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, AND BY HIS WOUNDS WE ARE HEALED

By his wounds we are healed. But we must come to Jesus Christ the way we are with our wounds open and bleeding. We must admit that we can’t fix ourselves. That life based on our own resources and trying to suck life out of other people never satisfies. We must not cover the wounds up with our band-aids of self-improvement, religion, minimizing, excusing, accusing, blame shifting or whatever your particular brand of band-aid is called. By his wounds we are healed when his wounds meet our wounds. Then he cleans your wound, binds it up and takes you to new places of life where those wounds don’t determine who you are anymore.

But the cross of Christ will remain foolishness to those who trust in themselves. Those who build their own kingdoms focused on themselves and their strength of achievements, physical beauty or personality gifts. Those who want to climb up the ladder of religion trying to impress their god. Those who just cannot accept that everything has already been done. You don’t have to do anything to be good enough or bad enough to be a part of Jesus’ kingdom. The grace of God means that there is nothing you can do to make God love you less, and there is nothing you can do to make God love you more! God loves you just the way you are including the good, the bad and the really ugly in you!

I bow at your cross, Jesus Christ! I embrace your cross as the place where I received life in you. I embrace the fact that many men and women will mock and ridicule me for putting all my trust and hope in you! But I stand here just the way I am. Naked with my strengths, weaknesses, revelations, questions, accusations and everything else. And I see you look at me from your cross and you tell me: “You are loved just the way you are! I will always love you! It is finished!

Happy Good Friday!

Torben – who has found two wonderful Easter songs to listen to these days as I contemplate what Christ did on the cross.

First Stuart Towend’s modern classic “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us”

and secondly “By His Wounds” based on Isaiah 53

2 Responses to “The foolishness of the Cross of Christ”

  1. April 15, 2009 at 10:35 am

    very enlightening….lots learnt

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