Christianity is foolishness. Here’s what we mean by that. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says,
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.
Paul writes to the church at Corinth that the word of the cross is folly. Now, it’s not folly, per se, but it is folly to those who are perishing. In other words, its foolishness to those who do not yet believe.
Why is it foolishness? Well, to the Jews of that time, Jesus was hung on a tree, if you will—the cross. That meant that He was cursed. How could someone claiming to be the Messiah be crucified? It’s foolishness.
To the Greeks, they had their own set of gods, and so the idea that the God of the Christians would undergo the most vile, disgusting punishment (crucifixion) was laughable. It’s foolishness.
For others today, it’s foolishness for a motley of other reasons. It’s foolishness, because it supposedly doesn’t line up with science. It’s foolishness, because it’s not right that God would crush His own Son. It’s foolishness, because it’s just an ancient book that had it’s purpose, but that’s all that it is.
But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. This message, that Christ came down and lived a poor man’s life, wrought with suffering that would culminate to the cross to die for sinners like us, is not foolish to us. Because God has shown us the veracity of it, because God has shown us His love and justice through it, it is far from foolish; it is the very power of God to save.
Why use such a foolish message to save? Because when men and women all over the world, from different walks of life and different cultures, with varying levels of education and vastly different experiences, hear this message and believe, it makes no sense to those who are supposedly the wisest in the world. It confounds the sages. And all that can rightly be concluded is that salvation is not from man’s wit or spirituality or logic or whatever. Salvation is from God and God alone, and so no one can boast. We can only praise God.
Christ Himself could be seen as a person whom only fools would follow. He was born in a feeding trough to a carpenter’s family and raised in a town of ill repute. His mother probably was suspected by the community of being an adulterer. Later, when He rode into Jerusalem, it wasn’t on a glorious horse in a majestic procession, but on a colt. And then, He seemed to have failed His ministry when He was taken and crucified, which was a brutal and humiliating death. Who would follow Him?
We will. We who are being saved. We have been given new life by the power of God. You may be reading this and be thinking that it’s foolishness that we believe what we do, and truthfully, we can’t convince you otherwise. But the message is true. If you believe this foolish message, you will be spared from the wrath of God that you’ve earned from decades of sin, and you will be saved by the power of God through Jesus Christ.