I want to continue with the passage from 1 Corinthians–the one about the foolishness of the cross. I’ve been trying to get a grasp on just how difficult this would be to accept for Paul’s hearers. Having read three gospels already in our Year in the Bible plan, you see how much the Jews wanted a political messiah. How could they overthrow Rome with a crucified Christ? Jesus had shown great power. How could he waste it all by submitting to the cross?
But imagine you’re a Greek or Gentile. You have many gods and perhaps you are hearing about a new one from Paul. But you hear that this God is glorified in weakness. How does that make sense to you? Does Zeus deserve recognition because he is thought to be strong or weak? Who among the gods is praised for dying, humility, service, or crucifixion? Especially being crucified would make it hard, for Christ died the death of a criminal. What is deserving of worship in an executed criminal?
But so it is. Christ crucified. Failure to Jewish political pursuits. Ridiculous to Greek notions of the divine. Our God is not like the rest for he came to serve us, love us, die for us, and in his death he is glorified.