One purpose of the cross is to bring us to the end of all our wisdom and righteousness. The cross is the supreme lesson that our own power is totally inadequate. This is something that is very easy to say but is not always easy to practice in our daily lives. The truth is, we can begin to enter into the grace of God only when we have come to the end of ourselves.
Sometimes our reaction to our problems is to ask, ‘What are You doing, God?’ Here is the answer: God is gently but firmly bringing you to the end of yourself, to the end of all your own best efforts. He is helping you to recognize that the best you can do does not even begin to be good enough. Why? Because the Lord wants to provide a release in your life that is totally from Him—something that is good enough to get the job done.
Listen to what Paul says on this issue:
For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians 1:22–25)
When he was in Corinth, Paul preached Christ crucified. It is easy to preach Christ as the great Teacher or as the wonderful Healer, but that message alone does not get the job done. We must preach Christ crucified. The cross is the ultimate in weakness. We cannot imagine anything weaker than a man dying in agony on a cross, breathing his last. Also, it is totally foolish that God should send into the world His Son, the one perfect Man, and then allow Him to die a criminal’s death.
Most of us want God’s wisdom and strength, but we still want to hold on to our own wisdom and strength as well. We want to cling to them as if they really have some eternal value. The truth is that God does not deal with us on that basis. We must come to the end of our own wisdom and strength before God will release His grace into our lives.
It is not just our sins that must come to an end, it is also every human effort we think we can do for God. All of these efforts must come to an end and yield to Jesus. When we have yielded everything to Jesus, then we can say with Paul, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13).
This Reflection is taken from