7/10 1 Corinthians 1:23-24

23 But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

The gospel is about Jesus dying for our sins so that we might be saved. It isn't a people-pleasing message. Jews knew from the Law that anyone who hung on a tree was cursed. Indeed, Jesus took the curse of sin upon Himself. Even the crown of thorns on His head was a picture of God's curse upon sin (Genesis 3:17-18). That was the very purpose of His death, to take upon Himself the just curse that we deserved.

Some Gentiles (non-Jews) saw the worship of a crucified Lord as foolishness. Their gods were powerful but self-serving. They would never allow themselves to suffer humility at the hands of mortals, let alone a death like crucifixion. One early second-century Roman graffiti depicts a Christian worshiping a crucified man with a donkey head. That was how many Romans viewed the worship of a crucified man.

To those whom God has called, the crucifixion is the greatest display of the love, mercy, and justice of God. It was the one way God could save our lost souls while satisfying His demand for justice. Christ, our Messiah, could see the horror of sin and the wrath it deserves, but He could also see the victory over sin and death that He would obtain. He could see the formation of His bride set free from sin in the beauty of holiness. The cross is the wisdom and power of Christ on display for all who are called to behold it with awe and wonder.

Consider: We partake of Communion to gaze again and again on the marvel of what Jesus accomplished through man's most gruesome deed. Take a moment right now to look upon the cross of Jesus and thank Him for what He did for you.