The paradox of Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection stands immovable against the flood of human reasoning. The magnitude undeniable! To presume understanding would diminish the unexplainable.
A paradox is something “self-contradictory that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded and true.” I suggest that every apparent contradiction, or paradox, is unequivocally true in relation to Jesus Christ.
For many people, Jesus Himself was and is a contradiction to their preconceived expectations! Scholars memorized the scriptures, studied the prophetic indications of His coming and work, and yet failed to recognize Him. And still today many disqualify Him based on their own limited understanding.
No where do we see this dilemma more than in the contradictions surrounding the cross and resurrection. The cross was earth’s darkest hour! The resurrection heaven’s greatest dawn!
“The true light that gives light to everyone
was coming into the world.
He was in the world,
and though the world was made through him,
the world did not recognize him.
He came to that which was his own,
but his own did not receive him.”
The Light of the world invading darkness! Creator touching creation unaware!
Love In Action
Here is John’s capsulated explanation,
“To him who loves us
and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
and has made us to be a kingdom and priests
to serve his God and Father —
to him be glory and power
for ever and ever!
Stripped naked, Jesus hung upon the cross to clothe the unlovable, the unworthy, the undeserving in garments of love and robes or righteousness. Leaving heaven’s throne, He established an earthly but royal priesthood and kings unto God.
“You have made them to be
a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
The paradox of Jesus Christ is undeniable.
The bread and the wine at the Last Supper rich with symbolism: bread in the hand of The Bread of Life broken to feed the spiritually starving; a cup held by The Lamb of God, soon to be crushed, pouring out new wine to the desperately thirsty. All for the sake of “re-membering” a church dis-membered through jealousy, selfish ambition, strife, and personal agendas.
“…The Lord Jesus, on the night
he was betrayed, took bread,
and when he had given thanks,
he broke it and said,
“This is my body, which is for you;
do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, after supper
he took the cup, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood;
do this, whenever you drink it,
in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:23-25
Jesus was bound so that multitudes would be set free! He remained silent before His accusers to give bold voice to people of every nation, tribe, and tongue! His body brutally whipped, beaten, clubbed, and pierced so our bodies may receive healing! Paradox upon paradox!
“”He himself bore our sins”
in his body on the cross,
so that we might die to sins
and live for righteousness;
“By his wounds you have been healed.””
1 Peter 2:24
The Son, rejected by Father, purchasing adoption rights for many sons and daughters to be born anew into His family! The sacrificial Lamb bearing the undeserved stain of our sins upon Himself, to cleanse and redeem the truly guilty! Such is the paradox of Jesus Christ!
Dead to Life
The Eternal God, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and End, submitting to the way of the cross, surrendering to the cruel Destroyer, to break the curse of the fall and defeat death, once for all.
“The thief comes only to steal
and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full.”
Not just life, but life “in all its fullness! Superabundant, superior, excessive life! The paradox of Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection continues — unstoppable, undefiable, unquenchable!
“If a man can predict his own
death and resurrection, and pull it off,
I just go with whatever that man says.”
There is More
The King of all kings becoming servant of all! The One crowned with all glory humbling himself — becoming nothing, to make something of us. Like it or not, it required nothing less than such a radical move to make anything of the hunk of raw clay I am!
He emptied Himself so that we would be filled! He was denied any comfort to make room for the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to be with us.
“But very truly I tell you,
it is for your good that I am going away.
Unless I go away,
the Advocate will not come to you;
but if I go, I will send him to you.”
His death triggered the sending of Someone better, the Holy Spirit — the Advocate, Intercessor, Counsellor, Comforter, Helper. Leaving before sending! Departing preceding receiving!
The only fitting personal response I find, is the passionate determination and fervent pursuit of all that Christ has died for, all that His resurrection has acquired. Only then will God truly receive the glory He is worthy of.
” … he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death
— even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him
to the highest place and
gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
Anything less would be heresy. He became weak humanity to give us strength. May we boldly live our lives in reflection of the paradox of Jesus Christ:
contending for freedom of those
chained in sin and addictions;
decreeing release for captives internally bound,
and healing for bodies, families, churches and nations;
new wineskins continually being filled
with the wine of His Spirit
and satisfied only in the bread of His Presence;
sharing the gospel with liberty and power,
affirmed through miracles, signs and wonders;
never settling in complacent indifference
or apathetic denial,
but preaching, teaching, admonishing, encouraging
and exhorting believers everywhere
in their identity as sons and daughters,
priests and kings of the Most High.
The paradox of Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection shouts to us all, “Live! Live full! That superabundant, superior, excessive life that He paid for, live it today! Live it always!“
Why? Because “He is risen! He is risen indeed!”