When I Survey the Wonderful Cross (1 Corinthians 1:18)
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. —1 Corinthians 1:18
When I read 1 Corinthians 1:18, my thoughts run along a path to this:
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)
The cross is folly to the perishing because the powerful love of God is incomprehensible. In love, Jesus laid down His life on a criminal’s cross, to be the sacrificial substitute for people who are dead in their sins, hate Him and love themselves more than anyone or anything.
A friend of mine, whose IQ is about a gazillion, once shared her experience of conversion to Christ. She had often heard the story of a holy God sending His perfect Son to die on a cross to pay the sin penalty for people who despised Him, and said to herself, “that’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!” She just could not logically make sense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And, without realizing it, she was bearing witness to the truth of Scripture and the condition of her soul: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing.” Maybe you, too, have heard about Jesus and know a little about the cross where He died but just can’t seem to make sense of it.
Ask Jesus to show you. Just as God did for my friend, in His mercy He can open your eyes to the truth of your need of a Savior and give you comprehension of His love on display as Jesus died on the cross in your place. Then you will know the power of God. The cross, once folly to you, will become wonderful. It is the destruction of the world’s wisdom and all our pride. “For since in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:19-20).
The perfect Son of God died in your place, satisfying God’s wrath against you, taking all the penalty of your sin, that you may be reconciled to God, accepted, forgiven and made His child, loved and adopted into His family, forever. This powerful love is for anyone who will come to Jesus and fully trust in Him.
Since, then we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For, if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:9-11)
Read chapters 5 through 8 of the book of Romans. Write down what you learn as you “survey the cross” of Jesus.
Memorize 1 Corinthians 1:18 and Romans 5:8, then make a plan for how you can share God’s saving power with someone today—be bold to tell of His love.