Theyre Lee-Elliott 1903–88, Crucified Tree Form – the Agony, 1959
The message about the cross has become so familiar it has lost much of its foolishness to those who are perishing. And even we who are being saved prefer a sanitized version of the real thing. The cross is decorated with gold and jewels and made to be an object of art rather than the brutal instrument of death the Romans used to control civil unrest and punish common criminals. The foolishness of the cross is that God would chose to die stripped naked and nailed to wood when twelve legions of angels were chomping at the bit to do some damage to whoever dared lay a finger on the blessed Son. But then our way would be to save ourselves at the expense of everyone else. God chooses to bear the expense of our blood lust and cruelty in the body of Jesus to save a world with suicidal tendencies, hell bent on destruction. If God finds power in weakness and wisdom in foolishness, maybe we who claim the cross as the power and wisdom of God should live the sort of sacrificial life that shames the strong and makes foolish the wise rather than pursuing power and prestige. But that would be foolish, wouldn't it?