God sacrificing His son on an instrument of Roman torture is pretty hard for the world to grasp. It seems foolish to a world that hasn’t experienced its power.
That’s the key. It’s a power that has to be experienced. Only someone who has moved from guilt and despair to freedom and hope can testify to the power. The power is in the blood and the blood is on the cross.
It’s a difficult second step, even for those of us who have experienced the power of the cross of Christ, to appreciate the power of our own crosses. The foolishness of the power of Christ’s cross is magnified when we consider a cross of our own. There seems no chance of power in self-denial and suffering, yet it’s where all spiritual power resides. If we shake our heads in doubt at the Cross of Christ, we tremble in fear at the thought of a personal cross.
But do not fear, for the cross leads to heaven. In the cross is health, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection from enemies, in the cross is heavenly delight, in the cross is strength of mind, in the cross is joy of the spirit, in the cross is the height of good deeds, in the cross is holy living. There is no health of the soul nor hope of eternal life except in the cross.
It is not in our nature to bear the cross, to love the cross, to bring our bodies into subjection, to flee from honors, to bear criticism meekly, to discipline ourselves, to bear all adversities and losses, and to desire no prosperity in this world. If we look inside ourselves, we will find none of this. But if we trust the Lord, endurance will be given to us from heaven, and the world and our bodily desires will obey our commands.
Watkins, James (2016-01-12). The Imitation of Christ: Classic Devotions in Today’s Language (Kindle Locations 322-325). Worthy Publishing. Kindle Edition.
The cross isn’t natural, but neither is our new birth. It’s supernatural. It’s power and grace and, yes, joy. The cross isn’t foolishness. It’s all that we desperately need.