Summary: The message of the cross is salvation through the power of God.
Text: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Story: “The Evidence of His Claim”
There is a story told of a cottage in a little country village, in which lived a family of four: father, mother, and two small children.
One evening something happened, what, no one knows – and the little cottage caught on fire. In a few seconds the thatched roof and wooden timbers were ablaze.
There was no fire engine in this remote spot, and the villagers stood round helpless. But suddenly a young man, who had only recently come to the place, came striding up.
“What, can nothing be done to rescue the people inside?” he cried, and as no one responded, he dashed through the flames. A moment later, he emerged bearing under each arm a little child. They were unhurt, for Andy had hidden them under his coat – but he was terrible burned.
Scarcely had he got out before the roof of the cottage fell in with a sickening crash, and the parents of the children were never seen alive again.
A kind old woman took Andy into her home and nursed him carefully. Meanwhile, there was much discussion in the village as to what was to become of the two rescued children.
It was decided that a council should meet to decide what was to become of them. When the day of the decision arrived, there were two who claimed the little ones. The first was a young nobleman of the village. He had money, position, and a home to offer the children. The second one to claim the children was – Andy!
When asked what right he had to the little ones, he said never a word, but held up his hands – burned and scarred for them.
Was it foolish for Andy to claim these children? Did the young nobleman of the village have a better claim because of his money, position, and home in which he could raise the children?
Were the children saved by the nobleman or by Andy? Was the nobleman willing to sacrifice his life to save the lives of the children or was it Andy who sacrificed his life out of pure love and compassion?
Was Andy’s move of salvation foolish in the eyes of the villagers as is the message of the cross to those who are perishing?
Paul says to the people of Corinth, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
What is the significance of the Cross?
The Cross was necessary because of our sinful nature. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God sin entered the world. The sin of disobedience caused a separation in the relationship between man and God. Man made a wrong choice and because of that wrong choice, the Cross was necessary.
When God created man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, man became a living being (Genesis 2:7). At that moment in time, Adam was sinless.
Then God caused Adam to fall asleep and He took one of his ribs and formed woman from that rib (Genesis 2:21, 22). At that moment woman was also sinless.
Scripture tells us that man and woman, Adam and Eve, were created in the image of God. Both were sinless and both had dominion or rule over all God had created.
Adam and Eve did not look like God because God is spirit, but their personality traits resembled that of God. God’s character was reflected in such things as their love, kindness, forgiveness, understanding, caring, patience, and faithfulness.
These are the same characteristics that should shine forth from each one of us. Why? We, too, were created in the image of God and we should carry forth His characteristics. God looks out for us and we should look out for others. God knows when we are hurting and feels the pain that we feel; therefore, we should feel the same toward His children. He stretches out His arms to us and says, “Come to me….for I am gently….and you will find rest” (Matthew 11:28-29).
We should be willing to stretch forth our arms to those who are tired, worn-out; those who have lost their will to live; those who believe they are no longer of any value to the Lord; those who think they have committed so many bad sinful acts that God no longer has an interest in them; those who need a shoulder to lean on or someone to share their tears.
Of all God created, man was most important. Each one of us is special to God because He created us. His love for each of us is well expressed in the words: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).