March 4

1 Corinthians 1:18-21

“For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” vs. 18

Paul quickly discovered that both Jews and Gentiles had a tough time wrapping their minds around the cross as the central image in the message he was proclaiming. They simply couldn’t believe that the path to salvation ran through excruciating suffering and death. Messiahs were supposed to triumph over all–that’s who they are! But Jesus had been abandoned by his followers and then executed as a common criminal. The whole story didn’t make sense! Times haven’t changed. The message about the cross still seems absurd, yet those who have absorbed its truth marvel at its power. Where people have centered their faith on the cross they have found enormous resiliency and strength. They don’t expect their lives to be free of pain and loss–Jesus suffered and so will they, and in their cross moments they have drawn closer to God than they ever dreamed possible. In their darkest times they have found strength and vitality in their suffering Savior. And as they’ve walked with Jesus through the valley they have discovered that the end of the story is not oblivion but eternal life. Out of the darkness has come light! There are days in which we wish the story of salvation had been different–we’d like life to be all about prosperity and wealth. But such stories are frauds! The way of the Cross is where the power is!

Thought for the Day: How can we avoid suffering?

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