1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
The heart of Christianity is the Bible, the heart of the Bible is the Cross, and the heart of the Cross is the very heart of God: a heart full of the most tender compassion for sinful, erring man; a heart that was bruised and broken while atoning for our guilt. Christians need to pray that Holy Spirit will give us a clearer vision of this wondrous Cross and a more real and deeper experience of it’s transforming power.
The Cross of Christ is the most awful and yet most glorious object ever seen by men or angels outside the gate of heaven. The message of the Cross is not heard from just one single text of Scripture. If we are to receive this message in all the fullness of it’s significance we must hear the whole Word of God concerning it. The great message of the Cross is much misunderstood because of the fragmentary fashion in which it is often represented. But no matter how fully the gospel of the Cross may be preached it will still be to them that are perishing foolishness.
How searching and astonishing this is! It is a sign that you are perishing if you do not see the infinite wisdom and power of God in the Cross of Christ. The preaching of the Cross is God’s Word about the Cross and His message of love and grace to us through the Cross. What a wonderful word this is!
The preaching of the Cross is God’s Word concerning holiness and sin. This means the holiness of the sufferer and the vileness of sin for which He suffered. Jesus said in John 8:34, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant (slave) of sin;” Then in verse 46 He says; “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” According to the teaching of Jesus Christ, sin and slavery are linked together. There is no true liberty where there has not been the breaking away from sin. “Christ did no sin,” if He had He would have come under it’s dominion, and thereby forfeited His Messiahship and His fitness to be a sacrifice “without blemish.” Christ was holy, harmless, separated from sinners, yet this Holy One, whose character and words were revelations of the invisible and eternal God, bore our sins in His own body, and was put to death by wicked hands. Acts 2:23
The holiness of God and the sinfulness of man have met in awful conflict in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. That Cross which reveals God at His best, if we might so put it, reveals man at his worst. As darkness can have no fellowship with the light, neither can the unrenewed spirit of man have fellowship with the Holy Spirit of God. This preaching of the Cross then is the word of victory to holiness, the defeat and putting away of sin.
The preaching of the Cross is God’s Word concerning love and sacrifice. When God gave His Son, it was not with any expectation that some way or other He might escape the cursed death of the cross. God had no hope of saving men but by the death of His Son, so man has no hope of being saved but through the power of His Cross. Acts 4:12 reads, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” The Cross stands for the love of God the Father, and the sacrifice of God the Son. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Christ also loved us and gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2 read, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.” Our Lord’s own testimony is “Even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life as the redemption price of many.” Matthew 20:28.
The message of the Cross is the message of infinite and undeserved love. Only God could so love a world of sinners as to give His only begotten Son up to the death of the Cross for them. Only God the Son could so love us, while we were yet enemies as to give His spotless soul a sacrifice for sin. “Herein is love,” herein is sacrifice. The sufferings and sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the proof and expression of the intensity of the love of God.
So the preaching of the Cross is the message of the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. It is God’s unfailing, ever active instrument, by which anyone may instantly through faith be lifted out of darkness into light.