The Apostle Paul wrote, “We proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”  The cross was a stumbling block for a lot of people in the first century.  It remains a stumbling block for many in our day.

The cross of Jesus Christ will never make sense to the world.  Some are impressed by demonstrations of power.  Others are impressed by persuasive arguments.  The cross is neither.  The cross is decidedly unimpressive.  Yet it is God’s counterintuitive plan to save the world.

Some people, believers or not, don’t care for God’s plan.  They want Jesus without the cross.  They like his teachings on how to live.  They like his emphasis on loving your neighbor.  They just don’t want the cross part.  They consider it an unfortunate, premature ending to what was shaping up to be a good career.  It doesn’t work that way.  You can’t have Jesus without the cross.  That’s the stumbling block.

The cross will seem feeble to some.  It will seem nonsensical to others.  It will offend many.  The cross remains a stumbling block for much of humankind.  It is also the best and only hope that we have.  The cross, Christ crucified, the power of God and the wisdom of God.