Not So Foolish After All
On an open field near Paris in the early 1900s, the French press was getting ready to chortle and chuckle. A man claimed to have developed an actual flying machine. But, to many, everything about the man and his claim seemed fishy. He was strangely dressed, he spoke very little, and his precious machine looked odd. What’s more, he kept delaying the scheduled time for his demonstration, simply saying that he had to make more adjustments. There were a few smirks and quiet snorts as the man finally brought his fragile-looking contraption out of a shed. Without any fanfare, he started up the engine, sat down behind the controls, and announced to the press, “Gentlemen, now I am going to fly.” And with that, Wilbur Wright did. And when he did, the chortles and chuckles stopped forever.
When the apostle Paul spoke of “the message of the cross,” he openly admitted that there was an appearance of foolishness about the whole thing. He knew how strange it sounded to talk about the Son of God becoming a human being in order to die on a Roman instrument of execution, and that the death of this individual was God’s way of canceling out the sins of the whole world.
But Paul knew something else. He also knew that this seemingly foolish message was not so foolish after all. In fact, he knew that the message of the cross delivered exactly what it promised. Furthermore, Paul knew that within the message itself was the very power of God-power that turns hearts from unbelief to faith – power that rescues souls from the darkness of despair into the light of full forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
As witnesses for our Savior, you and I can openly admit that there is an appearance of foolishness about the message of the cross; God’s Word says so too. But appearance is one thing. Reality is quite another. Wilbur Wright and the message of the cross are similar in that they both delivered on what they had promised. But there the similarity ends. Wilbur’s machine lifted him off the ground. The message of the cross carries us into heaven.