Jesus' death as an act of power

Yesterday I was reflecting more on the meaning of the cross. I have been meditating this year on the direct tie between Jesus' willingness to suffer on the cross and God's love for us. Jesus was filled with this love, and that is why he went to the cross. God loves us that much!

My further thoughts went to another great paradox of the cross. The power of God is demonstrated nowhere like it is on the cross. God has done a lot of things worth marveling over. Just read through the accounts of the Israelites' liberation from Egypt, and you get a host of large-scale miracles. In Jesus' ministry there were miracles that were large-scale (like the feeding of the 5000) and individual-scale (name any of his healings or exorcisms). The natural response to these miracles is to exclaim, "God is mighty!"

However, the most natural response to the cross is to say, "Jesus was not manifesting God's power in that time." Not so! The power of God was manifest in Jesus' willing submission to "death, even death on a cross." He explained that no one could take his life from him; he laid it down of his own volition. In other words, in a situation where Jesus seemed powerless, he was actually in control. He was laying down his own life, and that was an act of power.

Not only is Jesus in control of the situation, his power is also manifest in the effect of his actions -- that is, what happens as a result of his death. It brings about a result greater than all the miracles put together. It accomplishes atonement for our sins. Never again does anyone need to wonder whether God loves us!

Finally, Jesus' death is an act of power because it was motivated by perfect love. Jesus was not motivated by any external necessities. No person or no thing forced him lay his life down. His motivation was love, and love conquers all ("love never fails" - 1 Cor 13:8). Precisely because it is invicible, an act of true agape love is the most powerful act of all. There is no more extreme expression of agape love than Jesus' willingness to go to the cross for us (cf. Rom 5).

Comments

  1. thanks for this good word. it helps to know that as we follow Jesus in surrender we must rely on His mighty power to remove our old man and fallen nature, thank you Jesus

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