“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

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Paradoxical Riches of the Gospel, con’t

We disobeyed and turned away from God, but Christ was “obedient to death” (Philippians 2:8), faithful to God just as we were unfaithful – a theme that stretches throughout God’s story in the Bible. Yet obedience cost him the price of punishment for disobedience. Faithfulness brought upon Christ the wrath of God towards the unfaithful. Again we see that mysterious irony that the Gospel truth is so rich with.

“Christ never so greatly manifested his hatred of sin, as against God, as in his dying to take away the dishonor that sin had done to God; and yet never was he to such a degree subject to the terrible effects of God’s hatred of sin, and wrath against it, as he was then.” – Jonathan Edwards, The Excellency of Christ

“Christ’s holiness never so illustriously shone forth as it did in his last sufferings, and yet he never was to such a degree treated as guilty.” – Jonathan Edwards, The Excellency of Christ
Can you see the tense contrasting truths, the beautiful paradoxes in the cross? The Gospel is rich not only with revelation of God’s love, but with this paradoxical beauty as well! It seems to me that it is this depth of beauty that underlies the power of God to raise Christ from death, completing our salvation through his payment and triumphing over the evil that we succumbed to. Surely here in God’s demonstration of his love and justice we encounter a deeper wisdom and a greater strength, strong enough to overthrow the power of evil.

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