The apostle Paul was an extremely well-educated man, and no one can read his epistles without being impressed by his giant intellect. Yet Paul renounced the preaching that uses “wisdom of words” [1 Corinthians 1:17] for a plainness of speech that left none of his listeners in any doubt about the thrust of his message.
The Gospel is not hindered by plainness, but there is an eloquence of language that deprives the Gospel of its proper effect. Paul renounced that ‘Wisdom of words,” choosing rather to employ “the Word of wisdom.”
The word translated “preaching” in the text is “logos,” which means “word.” So Paul expounded the word of the cross, telling us that the cross has its own message. What is the cross saying to us today?
It tells us God is just. When man sins, he must die. The Judge of all the earth does right. Sin must be punished. But it also tells us that God is merciful and loving. As a righteous God, He hates evil; yet He gave His sinless Son to be sin for us, that we, through Hid death, might be reconciled to God. Justice and mercy meet on the cross.
The cross also bears the message that redemption is complete. It is an empty cross leading to an empty tomb. Jesus accomplished a finished work. The atonement is complete in Him.
The vertical stake of the cross reaches down into the ground. Jesus came down to this sin-cursed earth to point sinners to heaven. The horizontal bar points out to mankind and, in effect, beckons, “Come and welcome.” The Gospel of Christ is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” [Romans 1:16]. Have you experienced its saving power? Why not heed its message?