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15.04.2017

A Display of Power

A man with a bloodied face being dragged off a plane against his will. Bombs exploding outside Egyptian churches on Palm Sunday. The targeted release of toxic gas on innocent civilians in Syria. The US retaliating by launching an airstrike consisting of nearly 60 missiles … The past few weeks have shown various displays of power.

To a world that seeks to show power through explosives, military might, and physical force, Good Friday makes little sense.

A man, hanging on a cross. A man, who claimed to be the Son of God, nailed to a tree. Naked, and ashamed. Broken, and dying. Forsaken. Passers-by mock him: ‘Save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!’ (Matthew 27:40). But with no word of complaint, no attempt to fight back, an innocent man accepts a death penalty.

Is this power? The world says no. Power is loud, it is ferocious, and it visibly wins. It is often selfish, and seeks advantage over those who are weak and helpless. That is what we have seen these past few weeks, as governments and corporations seek to show their power at the expense of other people.

Is there really power to be found in the broken and bleeding body of a dying man? The world says no.

But Good Friday tells a different story. This broken and bleeding body of a dying man turns any earthly ideas of power upside down and inside out, as salvation and redemption are found in the most unlikely of places. Power is found in sacrifice, humility, and death. Power is found in a man, hanging on a cross. Naked, and ashamed. Broken, and dying. Forsaken. Power is found here, at Calvary.

Today, we preach Christ crucified, ‘a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles’ (1 Corinthians 1:23). The power of the cross can certainly make little sense to us and our world, so set in our ways. The cross comes in direct contradiction to everything we hear and see about power on a daily basis. It speaks not of explosives, military might, and physical force, but of love, forgiveness, and the laying down of one’s life. A stumbling block and foolishness perhaps, but also a better way to live.

May we seek to show something of Christ’s subversive power in our words, lives, and actions, this Good Friday and beyond.

This comes with Easter greetings from the LICC team, trusting that you will experience the powerful love of our Father God along with the peace and joy that comes from knowing that Jesus died and rose again.

 

Nell Goddard
Writer for LICC

Author

Nell Goddard

Comments

  1. And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’

    By Richard Snow  -  14 Apr 2017
  2. Awesome stuff Neil. I am a big fan of LICC Weekly Words and get a lot of inspiration from them for my talks/devotions as a School Chaplain. Thanks for the great work you all do and God bless you to keep it going.
    Chris

    By Chris O'Gorman  -  14 Apr 2017
  3. Nicely put Nell – thank you.

    By Amy  -  14 Apr 2017
  4. I have witnessed the power of the risen Christ in the lives of people the world would consider weak – the poor and oppressed in some of the harshest places in our hurting world. But these are people who find and demonstrate great strength in living in harmony with Jesus and sharing his love with others.

    By Tone Neeves  -  14 Apr 2017
  5. Hallelujah sister.

    Amen and amen.

    God bless.

    By Gary Stacey  -  14 Apr 2017
  6. Nell! This is a lovely piece. Thankyou.

    By Jonny Pott  -  14 Apr 2017
  7. Thanks.

    But we do need the Incarnation and the Resurrection.

    Easter vindicates Jesus as God’s Messiah. Without Easter, Good Friday becomes just another brave but sad ending for a failed prophet.

    cf Tom Wright in “Simply Good News”

    Easter is a celebration of all God has done in Jesus, and clebrtes him as the world’s true and only Lord.

    So let’s celebrate and celebrate and celebrate and celebrate….. !!!

    By Bob Wilkinson  -  14 Apr 2017
  8. Thank you, Nell, for this encouraging reminder that in God’s kingdom power is inseparable from love – and that makes all the difference!

    By Susanne  -  14 Apr 2017
  9. Excellent article , so true.

    Thank you x

    By Luz  -  14 Apr 2017
  10. Thankyou

    By Margaret Buergi-Guthrie  -  14 Apr 2017
  11. The extraordinary fact is that Jesus shows us who God is and exactly what he is like. He demonstrates this throughout his life and, above all things, on the Cross. No wonder that the Lord Jesus drew a sharp distinction between his Way and that of the World

    By TONY DEAN  -  14 Apr 2017
  12. Excellent, and so relevant. Thank you Nell Goddard!

    By Frances Miles  -  14 Apr 2017
  13. Thank you. Always worth reading.

    By Alison Burton  -  14 Apr 2017
  14. Amen! Forgiveness. Love. Peace. Grace. All powerful. All mighty.
    Thank you, this was a humbling post to read.

    By Vanessa  -  14 Apr 2017
  15. Thank you for these thoughts Nell. You have really got straight to the true meaning of Easter. We do live in a complex challenging and scary world. It changes from day to day; how wonderful that God never changes and our relationship with Jesus is constant and uplifting. Blessings and Happy Easter.

    By Elaine  -  15 Apr 2017
  16. Thank you for a lovely and pertinent message.

    May you have a joyful Easter

    By Elizabeth Edmunds  -  15 Apr 2017
  17. Thanks Nell. I was at Spring Harvest this year (for the first time in over twenty years!) and was encouraged to see that this message, of power through humility and sacrifice, really seems to be touching UK Christians. It feels much healthier than the quasi-military language of ‘trampling down the [spiritual] enemies and taking ground for Christ’ which was so prevalent back in the 90s scene.
    For me the logical next step is that more Christians should now start standing up for a peaceful approach to current affairs, engaging as peacemakers in those difficult political debates we read about in the newspapers but often shy away from, e.g. Britain’s defence policies.

    By Martin Tiller  -  15 Apr 2017
  18. A happy and blessed Easter to all of you too. Thank you for the Good Friday message. It speaks volumes.

    By Ken Lindsay  -  16 Apr 2017
  19. Amen, sister. Foolishness to the world, but salvation to those humble – and hurting – enough to embrace it.

    By Niall Crozier  -  17 Apr 2017
  20. great message

    By Bruce Gulland  -  19 Apr 2017

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