The Holy week begins culminating on Easter Sunday, “He is Risen!”, “He has risen indeed!”
A few years ago I heard Dr. Don Carson speak about the peculiar ironies surrounding the work Christ accomplished on the cross. I scribbled a few notes and sought to caption them in the following outline.
Let’s prepare ourselves for Easter by peeking at three “ironies” surrounding the cross and the impact they have on our lives:
- The man who is mocked as a King is the King!
They stripped Jesus, put a cloak on his blood-stained body, a stick in his hand to imitate a scepter with a crown of thorns. What a mockery. But for the first three centuries of the early church, they spoke of Christ as reigning from the cross. At face value that seems an oxymoron, but it is the truth.
- The man who is utterly powerless is all powerful.
Jesus becomes too weak to even carry his own cross-beam. But Jesus tells us, unless you pick up your cross, you’ll not know the Kingdom of Heaven. Our cross is a symbol of our self-denial and death to self. Our empowerment to live the Christian life only occurs when we die to self. We find power in death.
- The man who cannot save Himself can save you.
Mary and Joseph named the baby Jesus; a Greek word. But the Hebrew equivalent is the name Joshua which literally means: Yahweh saves! God sent His Son to save sinners. But if He saves Himself, He cannot save others. This is another irony. One that kept Jesus nailed to the cross. Jesus cried out the words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46; Psalm 22:1), so that you and I would never have to cry it aloud.
Don’t let Easter pass you by this year without letting these wonderful ironies truly impact you once again.