“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor. 1:23-24)
From The Christian Life in the Danger Zone
When Jesus stands before Caiaphas and the religious leaders at His night trial, the basic culminating question at issue about the ministry of Jesus is: “whom makest thou thyself?” (Jn. 8:53). The cross had not happened yet. Jesus was being judged solely by His works and His teaching. The wide gulf between “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mt. 6:33) and “what do you plan to do about the Roman occupation of our nation Israel?”…is on trial.
The main point here is expressed by Paul in Romans 8:6-7…”For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
Jesus was considered a failure and was crucified, by the religious leaders and a portion of the general populace because He was operating far above the realm of worldly conventional thinking and living. An elevated journey of faith composed by God, and carnally-minded conventional thinking, are incompatible at a lethal level when expressed through Jesus Christ the Son of God walking through this broken world lost in sin.
If the life of Abraham was about fulfilling horizontally conventional normalcy he would have stayed in Haran. Abraham journeys out into an adventure of faith following God into the Promised Land. The cross not only epitomizes the rejection of Jesus Christ, but also a rejection of Abraham.
When Abraham walked the earth he was not only the father of faith but also the entirety of the Jewish nation. When the leaders in Jerusalem rejected Jesus in favor of the concerns of worldly conventional normalcy, when they rejected an adventure of faith patterned after Abraham, they were in the most profound and concrete way being un-Jewish (Rom. 9:6-7). The rejection of Jesus as messiah is an endorsement of worldly horizontal, conventional normalcy because it is a rejection of the bold and uninhibited adventures of faith starting with Abraham.