Wisdom Wednesday: The Wisdom of Easter

The Wisdom of Easter

Submitted by Debbie’s Dad


 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,  “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” (1 Co 1:17–20 ESV)


When we think of Easter, we immediately envision the cross on a hill and the self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, on that cross. That image of the cross is so emblematic of Christ’s suffering to provide redemption that Paul used the expression “word of the cross” in this passage to refer to the gospel message. The gospel is about the sacrifice on the cross.

Paul emphasized he did not arrive in Corinth with impressive rhetoric and intellectual rigor. He came with the simple message of “the cross”—the gospel (or Good News). Later in this letter he summarizes the essence of this good news: “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to … [many witnesses are listed in the following verses] (I Cor. 15:3-5ff).


The essence  of this word on the cross is simply:

  • Christ died for our sins — Because of God the Father’s great love, he gave his only Son to die for (in place of) our sins – a price we could not pay- the perfect sacrifice for sinful people.
  • This was in accordance with the Scriptures—His suffering and death as was foretold by the prophets.
  • He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures–Again, his resurrection from the dead was foretold by the prophets.


In verse 23, Paul calls the message, simply “Christ crucified.” This simple message of the cross, Paul explains, is viewed from two perspectives:


  1. To those “Perishing” the message is perceived as folly:
  • The “perishing” are those who reject the message and are heading to destruction. Jesus warned, “… wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction…” Matt 7:13 NKJV
  • Folly refers to foolishness, the kind of things believed by those who are dull, or stupid. The message of God sending his Son to redeem the world sounded foolish to the intellectual Greek mind and to many today.
  1. To those being saved from sin, the message is God’s power and wisdom:
  • The awareness of sin brings guilt and conviction, but to those who humble themselves before God to believe the message and receive forgiveness, it is God’s power to forgive sin and provide the assurance of eternal life.
  • The message also demonstrates God’s wisdom in providing a means of redemption. Paul explained this wisdom throughout his epistles: By one man sin entered the world and all inherited sin; By God’s only Son redemption from sin was provided by all.


And this is the Wisdom of Easter: the “word of the cross”.

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