Summary: The wise seek the foolishness of the cross. Meant to be preached Palm Sunday Night.
Sunday Night-The Wisdom of The Cross
Text: 1 Corinthians 1.18-25
CT: The wise seek the foolishness of the cross.
FAS: Historian Garret Fagan summarizes how the Romans—the culture encountered by the early church—viewed the values of strength and weakness:
Ideas of universal human dignity were almost all but nonexistent and large swathes of the population were seen as … inherently worthless. Weak members of society were objects not of compassion but of derision. More than most, Romans lionized strength over weakness, victory over defeat, dominion over obedience. Losers paid a harsh price and got what they deserved, and [resisters] were to be ruthlessly handled … Roman politics became a ruthless game of total winners and abject losers … The drive to dominate and not be forced to bow before a rival was paramount.
LS: Is it any wonder why the Greco-Roman world (and our world today) can't understand what Paul called "the foolishness of the cross"?
The crucifixion of Jesus occurred in 1st century Judea, most probably between the years 30 and 33 AD. Jesus' crucifixion is described in the four canonical gospels, referred to in the New Testament epistles, attested to by other ancient sources, and is established as a historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources,] although, among historians, there is no consensus on the precise details of what exactly occurred.
According to the canonical gospels, Jesus, the Christ, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally crucified by the Romans. Jesus was stripped of his clothing and offered wine mixed with gall to drink, before being crucified. He was then hung between two convicted thieves and according to Mark's Gospel, died some six hours later. During this time, the soldiers affixed a sign to the top of the cross stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews". They then divided his garments among them, but cast lots for his seamless robe. After Jesus' death they pierced his side with a spear to be certain that he had died. The Bible describes seven statements that Jesus made while he was on the cross, as well as several supernatural events that occurred.
Collectively referred to as the Passion, Jesus' suffering and redemptive death by crucifixion are the central aspects of Christian theology concerning the doctrines of salvation and atonement.
Luke 23.44-46. 44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
In John. It is finished
In Mark and Matthew-My God Why have thou forsaken me.
Why aren’t they all the same, some will say?
It was a time of terror for many and a time of confusion. People would have seen and viewed different vantage points. The fact that they are different actually makes it easier to believe the gospels.
They weren’t rigged by a central group.
Many people experienced and gave accounts of what took place. We have eye witnesses to the event.
The crucifixion took place. It was definitely in all four gospels as well as in non-Christian literature that was anti-Jesus.
It is spoke of many times in the epistles. Yet even back then the majority of people saw the cross as foolish. But the Apostle Paul saw it much differently. He spoke of the cross as the only real source of true wisdom there was. He said it like this.
1 Corinthians 1.18-25, 18 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. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Crucifixion was not only a horrible death but it was the most shameful death. People who were crucified were usually left for days to die and even left longer to be a deterrent to any one considering a life of crime or dissenting from the government. It was actually illegal to crucify a Roman citizen.