Love is Stupefying - A Good Friday Reflection
Good Friday is April 15
People in general (maybe especially Americans) love an underdog story. In sports, we often can't help but root for the underdog and we have awards called "Comeback Player of the Year" or "Most Improved". While the underdog narrative is deeply ingrained in our psyche, in the ancient world, the name of the game was power. The powerless rarely, if ever, won. The names of millions of peasants, soldiers, slaves, artisans, and merchants are lost to history.
But in the greatest story ever told, the victim would triumph. The untouchable God, creator of everything, stooped to our level and--in the greatest and most ghastly paradox that we can imagine--suffered through hunger, betrayal, torture, and death. The cross is where we stare into this reality.
As the historian Tom Holland has pointed out, because of its proximity to our era, we tend to bristle more at the thought of the holocaust than the cross. We've become culturally desensitized to the brutality of the cross. In ancient times, nobody celebrated the cross. It's almost as if they were uncomfortable about documenting its usage. But now, two thousand years later, is there a more well-known symbol in the world?
If you're like me and this story still shocks you, then just imagine what it was like for the apostles to share this news in the first century. To arrive at a new village and exclaim the outrageous truth that God literally walked with us and taught many wonderful things. That he was viciously killed by crucifixion, but conquered death and was resurrected on the third day. And if that wasn't shocking enough, here's the kicker: you can know this God! This is the story that shook the foundations of the ancient world and continues to stupefy us. The mystery of love is indeed stupefying.
- Brian Causey, Teleios Board Member