For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
Some time ago I read about a zookeeper who saw a mouse that had fallen into the glass enclosure of a large snake. Although the snake was sleeping in a bed of sawdust, the mouse knew that it was only a matter of time before he became supper. The man could almost see the gears of the mouse’s mind turning and churning as he tried to find a remedy to his situation. He couldn’t climb the glass walls to freedom. He couldn’t tackle the snake in direct confrontation. In desperation, the mouse did the only thing he could do. He tried to cover the snake with sawdust chips. The chips flew fast and furious until that mouse had buried the snake. Now, the mouse might have been content with his paw work, but the man knew the clock was still ticking — the snake would awake — the mouse would die. That’s when the man took a wooden rod and placed it into the snake’s cage. The mouse grabbed hold and was freed.
That is, I believe, an accurate description of humanity’s history and God’s salvation. Although some may object to the comparison, we are that mouse. Because of sin we find ourselves face-to-face with death — Satan, the snake. We can try to escape; or, like that mouse try to bury our problem, but God knows better. God knows that death will someday, somewhere, somehow, eat us alive. Seeing us in our helplessness, God, like the man observing the mouse, had pity on us. Motivated by His pity, God, like the man, extended a pole, a wooden cross, to lift us to salvation.
Of course there is a large difference between the man and the Lord. When the man rescued that mouse, it cost him nothing. In order for God to save us, He had to send in a substitute, someone to take our place. Unbelievably, God sent His Son to do that job. Jesus died the death that we had coming. Jesus died so that we might live. Jesus was crucified so that we might be free.
No, the world thinks it is foolishness for God to do such a thing. But God, in His grace, did exactly that. When humankind was doing its worst, God did His best. He put His Son on the cross so that we might be saved. Now for those who cling to the cross, there is salvation. They are brought to safety by God's great grace, by His unmerited love.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on March 28, 2004
The Prayer: Dear Father, You are our escape route from sin. Thank you for being there for me during the times I was unaware of danger. Your unmerited love has given me life, and I shall forever serve you all the days of my life. In Jesus' Name. Amen.