The Downward Way of Christ and Salvation
We want our comfort and convenience. We want our power. We want to point out our success in pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. But Jesus subverts these “saviors” and offers something different. He offers himself. He offers forgiveness of sins and grace to forgive others.
And many of us simply can’t see how this can work in the real world. What’s the point of living if we’re uncomfortable much of the time? How will we get anything done without requiring others do what we think is best? Where’s our identity if we can’t build up ever-improving sense of accomplishment and expression?
These are reasonable questions, and this is why the message of the Cross, the Good News of God in Christ, the Gospel of Jesus, is a scandal. We often say it is counterintuitive, which means it doesn’t conform to how we might thing things go.
Yet, Jesus conquers our objections, because as God in the flesh, he conquered death. When we look a the results of our pursuit of saviors apart from him, we all find the same ending point: death itself, with no hope for anything past that. We might find temporary comfort, we might have our way for a bit, we might experience a self-esteem high that feels great! But that doesn’t keep us from dying as result of our and everyone else’s selfish and self-destructive attitudes, actions, and affections.
Jesus, on the other hand, proved that his way is the way of life by coming back to life. This why he said people had to understand “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected… and be killed, and on the third day be raised…”
The Resurrection vindicates the downward way of Christ as the ultimate way of life and health and peace.