In Galatians, Paul is dealing with his “children in the faith” being drawn away to believe that they must be circumcised and follow the Jewish ceremonial laws and regulations. He is trying to persuade them that only faith in Jesus through the cross is important and needed. As I came across Galatians 5:11-12, I had to stop and really think about the “offense of the cross.” NASB calls it “the stumbling block of the cross” but “offense” is certainly seems stronger. Especially with yesterday, Good Friday, being the day we appreciated Jesus’ death for us, it particularly seems important. Galatians 5: 11 says, “But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.”
The offense of the cross. The cross is offensive to man because it takes away self effort. It humbles us because it leaves us out. We can not earn anything with God of favor for salvation because it’s dependent upon Jesus’ sacrifice, not our being good. And we, as humans, love to take credit for what we’ve done. We don’t like to be dependent upon others. We like to pull ourselves up on our own bootstraps So no wonder the cross is an offense and a stumbling block. We resist God’s plan and don’t understand grace. But thanks be to God, who overcomes this offense and stumbling block in our lives so that on Easter, tomorrow, we can celebrate grace through Jesus defeating death. We couldn’t on our own. How wonderful that He did it all for us.