Folly: foolishness, madness, idiocy, stupidity, silliness, recklessness, craziness.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but [the cross] is God’s power to us who are being saved. Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world —what is viewed as nothing—to bring to nothing what is viewed as something. (1 Corinthians 1:18, 27-28)
The cross is folly and foolishness. The cross is also the means by which God transforms our lives.
In the days of Jesus, the cross was the Roman equivalent of today’s electric chair: it was a means of execution. So imagine walking into a church today and seeing an electric chair hanging from the rafters instead of a cross. You would think you had stepped into an episode of the Twilight Zone. But that is how foolish the cross is and the cross is the folly that leads to transformation.
For the message of the cross “is foolishness…[and] God’s power (1 Cor. 1:18).”
Indeed, the cross is madness.
And if you think about it, there is a madness and insanity to the thought of transformation. Have you ever heard the message that no one can really change? I mean we speak of being ‘new creatures’ in Christ, but do we truly, deeply believe it? And deep down in our hearts, at least in mine, I fear sometimes that God really won’t transform me, but leave me to wallow in my own darkness.
1 Corinthians 1 says the “message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved.” We are indeed saved, loved and transformed by a scandalous and foolish person – Jesus – for he is pure Scandal (from the Greek word “Skandalon” meaning stumbling block) and he is pure Fool.
The cross is madness and it is also the way of our transformation…for Jesus is God’s power and God’s wisdom. We are told to revel in our weakness in order to find true power and that in our insignificance is the place where we find meaning and hope and transformation.
So the cross is all folly and madness and transformation.
So let us follow the scandalous One more deeply, into His folly, and there we will find transformation.