“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.”
— Matthew 28:5-6 (NRSV)
He came as a babe born in a squalid manger, yet he was the King of kings and Lord of lords. He was threatened within an inch of his life soon after his birth, yet he would survive another thirty-odd years to be killed at the hand of the worst threats to have faced any human being. He grew up in a poor family and learned the father’s craft, yet he owned everything and he was actually the Maker of all things. He was a child, yet he grew in wisdom that surpassed those of advanced years. He served a long apprenticeship, yet he was fit to practice in any field of his choosing any time he wanted. He was revealed by John the Baptist as the anointed one, yet it was to be the Father’s privilege to make the real announcement.
He taught the disciples everything he could, over and over and over again, yet they were still so stubbornly confused as to get it wrong. He loved ‘the least of these’ even though he was ‘the most that had ever been’. He insisted on being associated with those his society considered vile, but the real vile ones were the religious elite of the day. He considered it nothing to be made into a man – fully human, yet also, at the same time, fully divine – yet he suffered the worst death imaginable. He was cast down in despair, yet he gave everyone around him hope. He gave in response to our taking from him – and he kept giving – and keeps giving because of his Holy Spirit.
His name is Jesus. Do you know him?
There are not enough words of paradox that could reveal how his light beckoned in, and destroyed, the darkness.
And the most incredible paradox of all is that the Jesus they crucified for blasphemy proved he was God by rising from the dead.
If one man can defeat death, we surely are able to quash death’s power when we have power in his name. When we believe upon Jesus, we have access to the risen power for life, despite the horror and hopelessness of our circumstances.
Jesus is alive; he’s alive in me and you.
Jesus is alive; his resurrection’s historically true.
© 2014 Garments of Praise. Written by S. J. Wickham.