Imagine you have a time machine and you take a person from the middle ages to a 7 course meal at a five star restaurant. You take some guy who has only ever eaten boiled potatoes and you sit him down and let him feast on delicacies from all over the world, a sumptuous banquet the likes of which he never could have imagined, a plethora of spices kings of his day would have killed to amass. So you give that to him and ask him what he thinks and he tells you, “gross. Take me back home.”
Very often that’s what it feels like to share the gospel with people who have only ever known the condemnation of the law. So you know someone whose life is torn apart by sin and condemnation, someone who only knows guilt and the empty nothingness of climbing the ladder that leads nowhere in an effort to make yourself righteous. So you set the cross before him and show him a salvation he’s never tasted before–every ounce of God’s love, every bit of His favor, the kingdom, the power, and the glory all set before him in the cross of God’s own son, the Son who gives everything to those who have nothing to give Him but their sins. To the man who has been crushed and broken down by a world that shows no mercy to the lowly, you show him how God Himself became lowly upon the cross to lift him up. And yet, the man looks at all that and says, “gross. Take me back home.”
When this happens, don’t tear yourself to pieces. Don’t blame yourself when the peasants don’t appreciate the feast of salvation you place before them. It’s not because you did a poor job preparing the meal. It’s because the word of the cross is always folly to those who are perishing. The beauty of the cross is imperceptible to those who are lost in the hideousness of sin.
So when you confess the word, remember that you don’t need anyone else to believe it for you to rejoice in it. Your sins are destroyed. Satan is conquered. The Son of God reached His nail-pierced hands into the muck of condemnation, lifted you up, and washed you clean. The power of God now rests in your hands. Invite your friends to the feast and pray that the Holy Spirit may open their hearts to perceive its glory. But even if you eat alone, you can still rejoice in the feast of salvation because you’re never seated there alone. The Son of God is always by your side, calling you to consume His righteousness again, always and forever.