“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Paradoxical Riches of the Gospel

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” – 2 Corinthians 8:9
This Gospel truth is so deep and filled with treasures that it is worth probing more. We forsook God and chose our own way, and yet he sought to bring us back to himself. We broke God’s perfect law, and yet he, the designer of that moral law, the law which is inherent to his very being, was punished and suffered as one who broke that same law. We brought death on ourselves justly by sinning, yet God alone experienced the full effects of sin. We spilled his blood on our hands, yet it was the same blood that washed us clean of our sin. We are the killers of the Author of life (Acts 3:15), and he is our lover and the giver of life to us. What a rich contrast between truths! It was we who were under the curse of sin, yet it was God in Christ who became accursed – for us (Galatians 3:13). He made himself who was perfect and beautiful to be sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), to be an object of scorn and revulsion, of just hatred and destruction. He made himself to be a hideous sight, and made our wretched faces to be bright and beautiful. He took us, filthy objects of disgust and just hatred, and made us to be without sin – holy, righteous, and beautiful, objects of love, purchasing for us and transferring to us his righteousness and holiness. He took up our filth upon himself and made us white as snow. Our righteousness is not our own – it is Christ’s. Christ is our righteousness – he is the reason for the just life and joy poured out on us. We are his sin – we are the reason for the just suffering that fell upon him. We are the killers of God and the reason for his just death, and he is our Giver, the reason for our eternal life. We threw ourselves into the pits of pride and he raised us up. He dug deep into our souls and remade us, transformed us. Through his sacrifice and because of the power of his resurrection, we too were raised and brought back to God, restored to be his children and lifted out of the sin and death that Christ trampled down.

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