Thoughts on Romans and 1 Corinthians, Day 37, Lent 2013

Today's Lenten reading covers Romans and 1 Corinthians. Since Good Friday and Resurrection Day are fast approaching, these two passages from the letter to the church in Corinth caught my ear.
Christ icon in Taizé
Christ icon in Taizé (Photo credit: lgambett)
The first passage is from the beginning of the letter. God's ways do not make any sense of all. His victory comes through his death. The king gives himself up. Why would anyone be attracted to a man, wrongfully convicted, able to stop his execution at an time, writhing on a cross, suffocating to death? In what world does this make sense?

1 Corinthians 1:18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” 20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
Jesus has introduced a new world order. His resurrection validated everything he taught.
Shroud of Turin
Shroud of Turin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 Corinthians 15 Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. 3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. 9 For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.
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12 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. 20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

The Resurrection from Grünewald's Isenheim Alt...
The Resurrection from Grünewald's Isenheim Altarpiece was a direct influence on Three Studies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His victory over death means all who believe in him will have this victory as well. The King was crowned, not with a golden headpiece, but with woven thorns. He overcame violence with peace. He won by losing. It still doesn't make sense.
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