The Offense of the Cross
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10
What has offended mankind above everything else is the simplicity of our Lord’s way of salvation. There is nothing that annoys people so much as the true doctrine of the cross, the doctrine of the blood of Christ and of the rebirth. Look at those people whom we read about in John 6. There they are; our Lord has said to them in essence, “I am the living bread. I am the bread of life. I have come down from heaven to give you new life that is life indeed.” And it was that which made them go from Him and decide never to listen to Him again.
Let me put it again like this. If Christ had come and told us that the way of salvation was to consider a great, noble, and wonderful teaching and then to resolve to set out and do it, why, we would have liked it. Christ said in effect, “If man could save himself, I would never have come into this world. God gave the people in past ages an opportunity of doing this. He gave them a law and told them when He gave it to them, ‘Do that and it will save you; live that life and you will be righteous in My sight.’”
If man could have saved himself, there would have been no need for the Son of God to come to earth. Indeed, His coming is proof that people cannot save themselves. Our Lord constantly said that, and that is what annoyed people so much. He said, “I have come to give My life as a ransom for many, for nothing but that could ever save those souls of yours and reconcile you to God. And,” He said, “it is as simple as this: I have purchased your salvation—I offer it to you as a free gift.”
— Martyn Lloyd-Jones