Friday, March 21, 2008

The Paradox of Good Friday

PAR-A-DOX: –noun 1.a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.

I'm sure those who followed Jesus to His cruxification stood perplexed and confused at His "unjust" fate. "If He is the Son of God, let Him come down from the Cross," others mocked in contempt. It just didn't make sense. So many miracles, the authority and wisdom in His teaching....and now, He was hardly recognizable. "This can't be the hand of God," was the prevailing human logic.

Yet over 700 years before this, Isaiah the prophet speaking through the Spirit of God foretold,

"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering…he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3-5)"

I think the paradox of Good Friday teaches us not to rely on our human wisdom and logic. God is not like us. His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He sees far beyond what we can comprehend and imagine. But just as what happened on "Good" Friday shows us in retrospect, God can be trusted.

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth..Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering...After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. ,(Isaiah 53:6-7)"

So our response? Trust an Gratitude. God does not owe us anything, yet He gives and gives and gives and loves and loves and loves. He gives us breath and life and offers us eternal life when we trust that Jesus is our sin bearer and we surrender our lives His rule.

He loved me when I was ignorant and rebellious to His ways. He not only forgave my sins and opened my eyes to see the error of my ways, but also showed me a better way to live. The fruit of this new way of life is a million times better than all the rotten fruit I was producing when I was rebellious to His ways. His ways are truly better.

God really does love us.

"Be strong in the truth that you are will trust Him to the degree that you know you are love by him. Contemplate the incomparable love of Jesus as he suffocates to death" (Ruthless Trust by Brenan Manning).

"There is no great love than this(John 15:3)"

Happy Good Friday.