“He said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.’” (Matthew 17:22-23)
Have you ever faced a diagnosis you did not want to hear? Sometimes there is a clear pathway to healing, while at other times there is not. Sometimes the pathway to healing requires procedures or surgery that are painful to walk through. Sometimes the healing can only come after great difficulty.
If this is true in our individual lives, how much more true is it for all humanity and the entire created order? When God the Father sent Jesus the Son as incarnate Messiah it was so Jesus could “seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10) and “save the world” (John 3:17). Such a vast and amazing work does not happen with the snap of a divine finger or by an armchair decision of a distant deity. Such redemptive work will come by Jesus the Son descending not only from glory but also by “taking the very nature of a servant” and “becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8). Jesus’ death on the Cross will be the entry point for salvation for all humanity and the created order.
But His death is not the end. Although it may seem unimaginable, Jesus tells His disciples ahead of time that He has not only come to die but also to rise again. As the old saying goes, “you cannot keep a good man down.” Though His victory over sin on the Cross and His victory of death in the resurrection may seem unimaginable, it is no less shocking than God Himself taking on flesh and living among us.
This Advent, let us celebrate the joy of the unimaginable becoming reality!
For Personal Reflection: Use the sermon discussion questions found bundled with today’s sermon. Missed the sermon? Catch up online at eastbrook.org/tisthereason.
by Matt Erickson