Today's Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
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)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Ever wonder why you believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins but other people don't seem to care or get it? St. Paul says why. To the world, the cross is stupid. Foolish. Nonsense. Dumb. Lame. But to us, who have been turned from our sins by the Gospel, by the working of the Holy Spirit, this cross stuff is Good News. It's our life. It's our salvation.
The world can't understand how a guy getting nailed to a cross does anything. But the Word of that Guy who was nailed there tells us: It is to suffer and die for sinners. It's so that everything we've ever done against the God who made us is wiped out forever. Your sins, nailed there with Jesus, are forgotten by God forever.
People don't believe that Jesus is God and man. People don't believe in God at all. People don't think they're sinful or that their sins really are so bad they deserve eternal death. There are lots of reasons the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit would turn their hearts from death and unbelief to faith and life in Christ, whose cross-worked salvation is for all people.
The message, the preaching of the cross for you, is hope, life, forgiveness, and salvation. The water that poured out of Jesus when He was on that cross was splashed upon you at the font. The blood that gushed out is given to you in the cup of His Supper. The preaching and teaching you hear are this Jesus crucified for you and risen from the dead. This cross stuff for you is God's very power, the power by which He saves you from your sins and gives you eternal life.
To those perishing the cross is foolish. To you who are saved it is the power of God unto salvation. And that is always a gift. It's not yours because you're smarter than others or figured something out for yourself. It's yours because the Holy Spirit has given it to you as a gift. And we pray He grants it to others, too. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Faithful cross, true sign of triumph, Be for all the noblest tree; None in foliage, none in blossom, None in fruit thine equal be; Symbol of the world's redemption, For the weight that hung on thee! (Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle, LSB 454:4)