Today’s Scripture: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:23-24

I’m a big believer in what God delights to do. He delights in taking something that seems small, insignificant, and weak, and making it into something that blows everybody away, something that confounds the wise.

Why is “Christ crucified” a stumbling block for Jewish people? A conquering king wouldn’t die on a cross – a cross was an execution that even Romans weren’t allowed to suffer. Only an enemy of Rome could be crucified. The Jews were looking for a conquering king, and a conquering king wouldn’t be crucified.

To the Greeks (Gentiles) it was foolishness – “How could God die at the hands of man, especially in the form of execution?” At His crucifixion, they were mocking Him, saying, “Come down off the cross.” If He was powerful, the Promised One, He could have come down. Consequently, because He did not come down off the cross, His death is foolishness to the Gentiles.

“But to them who are called (those who believe), Christ is the power and wisdom of God.” The very thing that is a stumbling block and foolishness to the Jew and the Greek is the greatest thing to us who believe. It is everything. If you think the cross and resurrection is everything, and the world thinks its foolishness, what will they think of you?

Jesus told His disciples to rejoice when they would be persecuted for His sake. So, if the world thinks we are foolish because we rejoice in the cross, we can count it all joy.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.