"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV
Just what is it about the cross that is passed off by some as nonsense and others as an offense? To some the preaching of the cross, (not preaching in general), insults the religious mind and to others is not worth a passing thought as unintelligible.
Beyond the facts of the betrayal, the trial, the blasphemy, the lies, the insults, the torture, the beating, the whip, the spit, the nails, the pole, the thieves, the forsaking of all, all of which might, and do, provoke sympathy and even anger from some; there lies another aspect to the declaration of the cross that flies in the face of man.
It it the "WHY" of the cross. Why did Christ Jesus suffer and endure it all? To set the example and show a way, a point of truth, or a manner of life that was acceptable with God? To show that forgiveness was possible and attainable by men? God help! NO! He did so because it was required and needed, not himself, but for me and you.
We could not do so and would not do so. Our inherent sin and existence forbid any hope of such. Our sin and eternal need of salvation insults the mind of the religious. They think that they can some way obey and live above it. The intellectual think themselves above it from birth and dismiss the thought of such punishment as foolishness, especially on their part. And the idea that someone, anyone, would stoop to such a low estate for those that hate them is completely confounding! Foolishness indeed!.
Yet, to those of us that are saved, (not being saved), the message is the power and wonder of God! It strips us of any boast of self in mind, might, or right. It leaves us in the dust of humanity faced with the reality of our helplessness without His complete work. It leaves us with no praise on our lips for our own righteousness, but glory for only God and Christ.
One should notice that this preaching is not what produces the perishing or the secure position of some, but finds the response of these. It is not preaching of the manger, ministry, or man that so much stirs such response, but the truth of the cause and cure that cuts to the heart and causes some to stumble and others to mock. But, to us which are called, (not being called), this truth thrills the heart with hope and the power of God. To the believer it directs our focus and tunes our lips with praise. Amen.