Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Christian message that Jesus died on a cross is a scandal to many and utter foolishness to most. Justin Martyr put it this way:

They say that our madness consists in the fact that we put a crucified man in second place after the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of the world (Apology I, 13.4).

Note how Paul describes it:

1 Corinthians 1:18-21 18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE." 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

I have three books to read on crucifixion before next week when I arrive at school for my modules:

1. Martin Hengel, Crucifixion.
2. Chapman, Ancient Jewish and Christian Perceptions of Crucifixion
3. Samuelsson, Crucifixion in Antiquity: An Inquiry into the Background of the Terminology for Crucifixion.

I eagerly look forward to reading these works and yet there's also a healthy trepidation for reading the gore and horror of this inhumane way of exterminating one's life. Nevertheless, my Savior was killed this way in my stead so I need to be affected by the reality of crucifixion in the ancient world.

I'll keep you posted as to what I learn.

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