Summary: The Cross is Foolishness Because it says You are a Sinner Worthy of God’s Wrath. The Cross is Foolishness Because it says Your Righteousness is Not Worthy of God’s Reward. The Cross is Foolishness Because it says that God’s Standard is Perfection
Good Friday 2014
“The Cross is Foolishness”
Tonight, we are going to study an important passage regarding how the world typically views the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
From the perspective of the Christian, this is the most important event in human history because we believe it secured our eternal salvation and brought peace between God and us.
But from the world’s perspective, this whole notion is foolishness.
Tonight, we are going to ask the question “Why?” ... “Why does the world think the cross is foolishness?” ... “Why is the cross such a repugnant thing... such a ridiculous thing... such a stupid thing?...”
READ: 1 Corinthians 1:18
Among the earliest pictures which relates to Christian worship in history is an inscription carved in plaster known as the Alexa-menos Graffito.
It depicts a man worshipping at the foot of the cross.
On the cross is a figure with the body of a man, but with the head of a donkey.
Below this is a description, “Alexemenos Worships His God”.
It is believed by many that this ancient piece of art was intended to denounce Christian faith by depicting the one on the cross - Christ - as a foolish beast rather than a Savior worthy of worship.
The implication is evident: To worship Christ is to celebrate stupidity.
Beloved, we are almost 2,000 years later and the mocking from the world has not subsided.
There is still very much an attitude which says, “To worship Christ is to celebrate stupidity.”
Our passage tonight tells us that this should not surprise us.
It tells us that the “...word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing...”
The word, “folly” is the Greek word “Moria” which is where we get the english word “moron”.
To the world, the cross is moronic; it is utter foolishness.
Why is the cross foolishness to those who are perishing?
Tonight, I want us to consider three reasons why the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing...
The Cross is Foolishness Because it says You are a Sinner Worthy of God’s Wrath.
The idea of God’s wrath or of God having wrath has truly fallen out of vogue with most modern people.
The God of wrath has been replaced in the minds of many with the God who is absolutely free from any exercise of punishing judgment.
Illustration: “The Idol Called ‘My god’” There has risen in the world a new type of idolatry. I call it the “My god” idol. People say, “My God would not send someone to hell” or “My god would not punish wickedness” or “My god would not demonstrate any type of wrath”.
By using the phrase “My god” these people are making a distinction which they probably do not even realize.
Their god is actually a figment of their imagination; they have created him in their own minds to fit their own desires for what they want their god to be.
People do not want to believe in a God capable of wrath, so they create a god in their minds who lacks this capacity - it is “Idolatry 101”
What’s become even more unpopular is the idea that we are actually WORTHY of God’s wrath.
Many people would say that IF God does have wrath, surely it is reserved for only the worst of people.
Hitler, Osama Bin Ladin, Ted Bundy... these are all men who are worthy of wrath in the world’s eyes.
But the natural man does not see his sin as a thing worthy of divine wrath.
God may have wrath...
But it is not focused on me...
Certainly I am not “perfect”, but I am NOT HORRIBLE!!!
Surely I am NOT WORTHY of God’s wrath.
My friends, this is the first thing which makes the cross so foolish to the natural mind.
Because the cross says you ARE worthy of God’s wrath.
Why did Jesus go to the cross?? --- To save sinners from the penalty of their sin.
What is the penalty of sin?? --- The wrath of God.
Who are these sinners, worthy of that wrath?? --- Every single person who has ever been born.
Romans 3:10-18 “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
This is a statement about the entire world.