“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 (NIV 1984)
Why is the cross foolish? How is it also the power of God? When thinking of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus do you discover hope? Why?
The following is by Timothy George, “Delighted by Doctrine,” Christian History and Biography (Summer 2006):
Judaism has its shema and Islam its shahadah, but Christians, responding to Jesus’ question “Who do you say that I am?” have produced literally thousands of statements of faith across the centuries.
As a capstone to his lifelong interest in the central texts of the Christian faith, Jaroslav Pelikan edited (with Valerie Hotchkiss) Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition, a four-volume critical edition with a one-volume historical and theological guide called simply Credo.
Pelikan’s collection includes several hundred creeds, including the Masai Creed from Nigeria, which Africanizes Christianity by declaring that Jesus “was always on safari doing good.” It also declares that after Jesus had been “tortured and nailed hands and feet to a cross, and died, he lay buried in the grave, but the hyenas did not touch him, and on the third day, he rose from the grave. He ascended unto the skies. He is the Lord.”
This creed was brought to Pelikan’s attention by one of his students, a woman who had been a member of a religious order working in a hospital in East Nigeria. Pelikan wrote, “She brought it to me, and I just got shivers. Just the thought, you know, the hyenas did not touch him, and the act of defiance — God lives even in spite of the hyenas.”
Not only do we believe Jesus died, that God died, but we believe Jesus lives! Yes it is foolish! It is crazy to believe such a thing, but we defiantly proclaim it. Who do we say Jesus is? What parts of our culture does the Christ who changes culture change? Where does God live in spite of death dealers? Now let us proclaim who Jesus is each morning as a confession of faith. Within our confession we say something about the power of God!