Posted by: duncandrews | May 19, 2009

So, you want to be great? IV

The apostle Paul knew of this unexpected greatness, and claims it is found in the cross of Christ. He writes of it, proclaims it, and lives for it:
Jesus on the Cross

By Excaliburrom on Flickr

“Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser that man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Cor 1:22-25)

A crucified Christ was outrageous to the Jews and just plain idiocy to the Greeks. The idea that the anointed King and Saviour of God’s people would die on a cross was, frankly, studip.

But Paul, remarkably, claims this very moment of Christ on the cross as the power, the wisdom of God.

It’s tempting to think that the last sentence of this passage simply affirms the glory and excellence of God over and above that of man. On a vertical scale of ‘power’, God is way above man. He’s so far above that even if it were possible for him to have a ‘weak’ or ‘foolish’ point, it would still be above Man’s greatest strength and wisdom.

But perhaps Paul says something else; something I feel is far deeper and more wonderful. It is precisely in Jesus’ weakness and humiliation; in his being ridiculed, spat on, executed in the most horrific and humiliating way; in the folly of his very lowest point on the cross; that Paul sees the greatness, power and wisdom of God.

Series so far: i, ii, iii

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