1 Corinthians 1.18: “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.”
The best way to describe this is to use an allegory of stirring (thanks to St Augustine). Imagine taking a stick, and then using the stick to stir a cesspool, the resulting aroma will be a foul stench. Take the same stick (after you clean it!), and perform the same action of stirring, but this time stir a bowl of perfume and a beautiful fragrant aroma will rise. Both occasions witness the same action of ‘stirring,’ but a completely different result occurs based on the essence of the object being stirred.
I think that we can draw out the same conclusion from the actions of Christ. He is an eternal member of the Trinity who becomes a man born of the virgin Mary, to be tempted and live a sinless life, then condemned by the very people he loves, then to experience death on a cross while proclaiming “Father, forgive them for the know not what they do,” then to rise from the dead thereby defeating death by death, and to then ascend into heaven so as to be seated at the right hand of the Father, to show that he was faithful to bring the plan of salvation to completion.
To the person that believes in the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, it is a sweet fragrance. To the person that does not believe in Christ’s faithfulness, this is the most ridiculous story ever concocted and Christians are to be pitied above all other people for they willingly take on the sufferings of Christ. But we who believe understand that we count it all joy to suffer with Christ, because we lay aside all worldly treasures so that we may know Christ and the power of His resurrection.
Are you willing to look foolish for the sake of following Christ?