Friday, October 9, 2009

Paradox, again! ( II Cor. 13 )

Christians have got to be crazy. On the one hand, we ascribe all kinds of honors to Jesus, even to the extent of what our Muslims friends call shirk -- associating Him with the Creator in nature, power, and honor. On the other hand, though, we believe that this totally special guy expired in painful disgrace on a Roman cross. Does not compute!

There are reasons why Paul forthrightly admitted that the doctrine of the crucified Savior was a scandal. This word derives from the Greek word σκάνδαλον, which originally referred to the trip-lever on a trap. Think of today's idiomatic expression "third rail." Looks harmless, but touch it, and you die!

Which brings us to today's verse:
2Co 13:4 Güçsüzlük içinde çarmıha gerildiği halde, şimdi Tanrı'nın gücüyle yaşıyor. Biz de O'nda güçsüz olduğumuz halde, Tanrı'nın gücü sayesinde O'nunla birlikte sizin yararınıza yaşayacağız.
A few words:
  • güç -- power, strength, force, might. A computer's power supply is a güç kaynak.
  • güçsüz -- powerless. Weak.
  • güçsüzlük -- weakness.
  • halde -- even though
  • yaşımak -- to live
  • birlikte -- in unity with. (bir -- one. birlik -- oneness, unity. birlikte -- in unity with.)
When Süleyman and I watched Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ together, he said that the Turkish audience had wept to see the suffering inflicted upon Jesus in the movie. Which explains, I replied, why Christians love Jesus as we do, since we believe He bore that suffering on our behalf.

But God had the last word in the life of Jesus, and continues to have the last word in the context of our often muddled, disastrous lives. No matter how bad things look, we always have reason for hope, for joy.

No comments: