31 March 2016

Foolishness of the Gospel

Easter is great time to truly reflect on the Christian faith and its implications for us today.

Why God would send His Son to be crucified by His own creation for our place of condemnation on the cross to bring about our salvation is a profound mystery in many ways. 

It baffles human wisdom and logic on every level. No matter how the salvation story is interpreted, Paul was correct when he called it the “foolishness of the gospel”, bringing either offense or ridicule from the world (1 Corinthians 1:18-25).

But in the divine wisdom of God, this was His chosen method of salvation to mankind. That only the humble and “foolish” would accept this great salvation into their hearts and admit their need for a Saviour. 

At one point in time the disciples asked Jesus how is it possible that a man can be saved? To which Jesus responded what is impossible for man is possible for God. Clearly our sin and separation from God was so immense and dreadful, which if given serious thought could radically change our personal lives if we let it.

John 12:23-26
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me”.

The theme of the cross will always be present in our personal lives as Christians. Seasons of struggle, suffering and (figuratively speaking) death will be a constant reality whether we like it or not. But this is a beautiful thing and not to be disregarded. There are areas in our lives like selfishness and sin which need death daily, and character flaws of pride, lust, greed and unforgiveness that can take over our lives if not truly repented of.

Death has a way of removing things in our lives that need to go which we can not do in our own strength. Like dying to self in our attitudes and habits. Death to self when forgiving others graciously when wronged. Death to self of sacrificial love. And death to the idols of our hearts and sinful nature which forever wars against our spirit. Diseases to our soul like apathy, laziness and pride which can be replaced with righteous zeal, fruitfulness and humility when a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and…. if it dies produces many seeds.

But after death is glorious resurrection. When we have hit rock bottom, the mighty power of God resurrects us. Our dreams are given new life. We are thankful instead of ungrateful. We value life instead of take it for granted. And we become better and stronger people that God can use, mature and holy vessels ready for every good work.

There can be no resurrection without death and what has died produces new life in our lives and relationships. And some areas need death if we are to move forward into the plans of God for our lives. Jesus gave us His example and as His disciples we are to follow in them.

May the theme of the cross be ever present in your life, so that the glorious resurrection within you may come and new life can begin!