That Glorious Scandal

"The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone," and "A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense."
-1Pe 2:7-8 ESV

'Paul’s theology of the cross involves his theology of the resurrection and is simply unintelligible apart from it.'
- Richard Gaffin, The Scandal of the Cross

“The Gospel is ‘the greatest drama ever staged … a terrifying drama of which God is the victim and the hero'"
- Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos, ch. 1

"It was not nails that held Jesus to that wretched cross; it was his unqualified resolution, out of love for his Father, to do the Father's will - and, within that framework, it was his love for sinners like me. He really could not save himself."
- D.A. Carson, Scandalous- The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus, p. 30

"There is no better news for sad men, for distressed, desponding and despairing men, than this - the Savior lives, able still to save and willing to receive you to his tender heart."
- Charles Spurgeon, The Lord is Risen Indeed, Twelve Sermons on the Resurrection, p. 102

The drama of the gospel is a story unlike no other. In this story the hero is not hailed, but mocked. He is not sustained by superhuman powers, he dies. The accolades originally directed toward him give way to rejection and disdain. After all, heroes are not supposed to become the victim. The Creator succumbs to the malevolence of the creation. And this death comes willingly, not with reluctance. He does not save himself. In fact, it is death that brings life. The gospel in all of its tragedy and offense brings glory. Death itself becomes a victim of itself. Through the mystery and glory of the crucifixion and the resurrection every enemy is finally overcome. This is the ultimate scandal and if it has no place of offense with us we've not understood it well. There is divine wisdom and human absurdity in the cross and resurrection. Surely, God could have done it another way…or not. In these singular events God has revealed the very heart of the gospel. The Son has revealed His heart for His Father. God has revealed His own heart for the world. By love God is inclined to His creation, by love God sends the emblem of His love to die, by love God raises His dear Son from the grave, and by love God vanquishes every enemy and removes every obstacle to His love for His creation. Our redemption has been accomplished by a glorious scandal.

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