Contrasts & Paradoxes

Hat tip to Jared C. Wilson for posting this over at his blog. Octavious Winslow – great name, great meditation on the Son of God – eternally begotten of the Father.

Eternal love moved the heart of Jesus to relinquish . . .
heaven for earth;
a diadem for a cross;
the robe of divine majesty for the garment of our nature;
by taking upon Himself the leprosy of our sin.
Oh, the infinite love of Christ!
What a boundless, fathomless ocean!

Ask the ransomed of the Lord, whose chains He has dissolved, whose dungeon He has opened, whose liberty He has conferred — if there ever was love like His!

What shall we say of the ransom price? It was the richest, the costliest, that Heaven could give! He gave Himself for us! What more could He do? He gave Himself; body, soul and spirit. He gave His time, His labor, His blood, His life, His ALL — as the price for our ransom, the cost of our redemption. He carried the wood and reared the altar. Then, bearing His bosom to the stroke of the uplifted and descending arm of the Father — He paid the price of our salvation in the warm lifeblood of His heart!

What a boundless, fathomless ocean! How is it that we feel the force and exemplify the practical influence of this amazing, all commanding truth so faintly? Oh, the desperate depravity of our nature! Oh, the deep iniquity of our iniquitous hearts! Will not the blood-drops of Jesus move us? Will not the agonies of the cross influence us? Will not His dying love constrain us to a more heavenly life?

                                                                                                           Octavius Winslow

Just beginning to read Jared’s book The Story Telling God – which I am enjoying very much so far. An exploration on the Parables of Jesus.

story telling

Jesus the Ultimate – Ramadan Reflections

Thorn for Ultimate postJesus the ultimate one who submits – he submitted to his eternal heavenly Father

Jesus the ultimate one who fasts – he fasted – laid aside his divine privileges to be rough and ready in the neighbourhood with us & for us

Jesus the ultimate breaking of the fast – arose after three days in death to break the fast of desolation and begin a new kind of life for those who would become his brothers

Jesus the ultimate one to pray behind – he said ‘pray like this “our Father in heaven …” ‘

Jesus the ultimate call to prayer – ‘he said “come unto me …” ‘

Jesus the ultimate alms – he is the embodied kindness of the Father to the poor and sin sick of this world

Jesus the ultimate striver for the Father’s glory – resists the way of Satan in the wilderness and in the garden

Jesus the ultimate one on pilgrimage – journeys from eternity into time to raise a band of brothers and sisters under his banner of grace

Jesus the ultimate religion of peace – opposites are reconciled in his crucified body

Jesus the ultimate brother – to all brothers and sisters adopted by his Father through the Holy Spirit

Jesus the ultimate in resurrection – first over a new creation

Jesus the ultimate one over all the angels

Jesus the ultimate advocate for repentant and believing sinners on the day of judgement

Jesus the ultimate eternal word of God – enfleshed

Jesus the Ultimate

Contrasts & Paradoxes 4

Really interesting stuff at source - click image

Really interesting stuff at source – click image

You gotta love a contrast & paradox on a wednesday morning ……

So that is the outline of the official story — the tale of the time when God was the under-dog and got beaten, when He submitted to the conditions He had laid down and became a man like the men He had made, and the men He had made broke Him and killed Him. This is the dogma we find so dull — this terrifying drama of which God is the victim and hero.

The Greatest Drama Ever Staged  Dorothy L. Sayers  London Hodder & Stoughton

Contrasts & Paradoxes 3

Contrasts & Paradoxes – I love them. This is the third on thlog. For the others see the categories.

A. W. Tozer:

A real Christian is an odd number, anyway.

He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen;

talks familiarly everyday to someone he cannot see;

expects to go to heaven on the virtue of another;

empties himself in order to be full;

admits he is wrong so he can be declared right;

goes down in order to get up;

is strongest when he is weakest;

richest when he is poorest;

happiest when he feels the worst.

He dies so he can live;

forsakes in order to have;

gives away so he can keep;

sees the invisible;

hears the inaudible;

and knows that which passeth knowledge.

—A. W. Tozer, The Root of the Righteous (Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1955), 156.

Hat tip to Justin Taylor

Contrasts & Paradoxes 2

foot-washingMore Paradox & Contrast – I found it posted by Chad over at Truthbomb Apologetics

He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men, yet he spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God. He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at his coming, yet he was so genial and winsome and approachable that the children loved to play with him, and the little ones nestled in his arms. His presence at the innocent gaiety of a village wedding was like the presence of sunshine.

No one was half so compassionate to sinners, yet no one ever spoke such red hot scorching words about sin. A bruised reed he would not break, his whole life was love, yet on one occasion he demanded of the Pharisees how they ever expected to escape the damnation of hell. He was a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions, yet for sheer stark realism He has all of our stark realists soundly beaten. He was a servant of all, washing the disciples feet, yet masterfully He strode into the temple, and the hucksters and moneychangers fell over one another to get away from the mad rush and the fire they saw blazing in His eyes.

He saved others, yet at the last Himself He did not save. There is nothing in history like the union of contrasts which confronts us in the gospels. The mystery of Jesus is the mystery of divine personality.

James Stewart, Scottish theologian

Contrasts & Paradox 1 is available here

Contrasts & Paradoxes

Today I want to begin a series of Contrasts and Paradoxes. As is usually the case the piec comes from someone else but was a blessing to me and I hope it may be a blessing to you. I love contrasts because in positioning two things together or against each other – each one is better understood on its own terms and alongside something else. The first in the series is Jesus & Paul. Who Paul? – you say. Paul – the Saint & Apostle – you must have heard of him). Damascus? 2000 or so years ago? Anyone?   Anyone?   Anyone?    Bueller?


Click image to source my source of image.

“Paul ran from Christ; Christ pursued and overtook him.  Paul resisted Christ; Christ disarmed him.  Paul persecuted Christ; Christ converted him.  Paul was an alien; Christ made him a member of the family.  Paul was an enemy; Christ made him a friend.  Paul was ‘in the flesh’; Christ set him ‘in the Spirit.’  Paul was under the law; Christ set him in grace.  Paul was dead; Christ made him alive to God.  How does one give reasons for this?  He does not give reasons; he sings, ‘Blessed be God who blessed us . . . even as he chose us in him.’”

Lewis B. Smedes, Union With Christ (Grand Rapids, 1983), pages 86-87.

HT (hat tip) Ray Ortlund at Christ is Deeper Still