(Billy Graham) This expression “the offense of the cross” sounds strange to our modern ears. Because, you see, we have a beautiful cross on our churches. We have crosses in the lapels of our coats. We have crosses around our necks. We have crosses embossed on our Bibles. We never think of it as a scandal and as an offense. And yet the Bible says it’s a stumbling block. It’s an offense. It’s a scandal among men. It’s a base and despised thing.
The cross was a place to execute criminals. It was a place where the vilest died. And when I see Christ hanging on the cross, I say with Isaiah, there is no “appearance that [I] should desire him” (Is. 53:2). Paul says that in his day it was an offense. I’ve found in my own ministry that I can preach anything else and it’s called popular. It pleases the ear. But when I come to the heart of Christianity, when I come to the cross and the blood and the resurrection, that is the stumbling block. That’s the thing people do not want to hear. That’s the thing that is an offense, and yet it’s that very thing that is the heart of the gospel. Without the cross, there is no salvation; there is no forgiveness. READ MORE