Holy iRony

Life Notes—March 28, 2013 

“For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many.  Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.”  Romans 5:15b,18

Irony abounds in our world, in both familiar and commonly-accepted ways.  For example:

*The most bone-chilling cold often occurs in the early spring.

*75° air is warm, but 75° water is cold.

*The cheapest items often become the most expensive over time.

There are many ironic “truths” that have been immortalized as clichés:

*The darkest hour is right before the dawn.

*No pain, no gain.

*There is no such thing as a free lunch.

While we accept the everyday ironies around us, sometimes as Christians we find it difficult to embrace the ironies of our faith.  In various parts of the Bible we are told the last will be first; that to save your life you must lose it; it is the merciful who will receive mercy; that faith the size of a mustard seed will move mountains.  And perhaps the granddaddy of all ironies is that to free us from our slavery to sin, Jesus had to die.  And as proof we have been freed from death in our sin, Jesus was resurrected from the grave.  In Paul’s letters it is written that we inherited a legacy of sin through the disobedience of Adam and Eve—the original sin—which is perpetuated from generation to generation in the flesh.  It is sin that separates us from God.  The animal sacrifices of old were to atone for the limited sins of the faithful, but it would take a sacrifice of divine proportion to atone for the original and inherently sinful nature of all humanity for all time.  It would require a Savior.  Enter Jesus.

So this Easter as we celebrate the crucifixion, death and resurrection of God-made-man, instead of puzzling over the irony of death leading to life, can we simply embrace the miracle and accept God’s gift of new life?   It is not a question of earning God’s amazing grace, because we have not and can not.  We who were once dead in our sin have been freed and, with him, are alive!  He is risen!  We may not know how, but we know…

This Sunday is Easter and the service times for some services are different.  Tom preaches downtown where Life worship will begin at 9:30 in Brady Hall and traditional worship will be at 8:00 and 11:00.  Mitch is preaching at the west campus where worship will be at7:00, 9:00 and 11:00. The sermon is “Wrap Your Arms Around Something Good for Easter,” based on John 21:15-19.

Come home to church this Sunday.  The Holy iRony: in His death, we are made alive…

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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