Paradox. Something that seems contradictory but includes a latent truth.
“I can resist anything but temptation!” said Oscar Wilde. A literary paradox.
“Start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and then end with something so complex that no one will believe it.” A philosophical paradox.
“They must go to war to make peace.” A historical paradox.
But surely the greatest of all paradoxes is the Cross! The clearest picture of hate is also the greatest picture of love.
Death for Life. HIS death for MY life.
Amazing love, how can it be … that YOU, my King, would die for me?
Born and raised a Hindu Brahmin, the idea of incarnation did not particularly captivate me. The Hindu deity Krishna is said to be an incarnation. God becoming human to vanquish evil? Again, Hindu mythology is replete with story after story of the godhead – as man – triumphing over the enemy. But God – THE One True God – incarnating as Man just so He could become the enemy? 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that Jesus who knew no sin became sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him!
A God who willingly and obediently and humbly sacrificed Himself in the most horrific and gruesome way possible – all on my behalf. MY behalf? Why? Because the enemy that had to be conquered was sin – mine and yours! He could have effortlessly destroyed the enemy – He is God, after all. But the enemy was me. And so instead of destroying me, He delivered me. He took my place – and yours. His death for our lives. It doesn’t make sense! But wait, there’s more.
It's Sunday. Resurrection Sunday. The Day that Death Died – Hallelujah! For unlike all the other incarnations I knew growing up, this is not only a God who died for us, but this is also the only God who has defeated death! His death for my life. But now His Life … for my death. My death to self. His Resurrection gives me – and you - new life so we too can declare with Paul (Galatians 2:20): “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Wait, what? How can it be? A spiritual paradox. It doesn’t seem to make sense, does it? But that doesn’t make it any less true.
The King who was a servant.
The Cross which satisfied the Wrath of God and the Love of God.
The death that brought life to us, and now our death for His life through us.
The surrender so we can live victorious.
Our Christian paradox.