Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Losses Turned Into Wins
Jesus was born as an apparently insignificant subject of the Roman Empire. Nobody in imperial authority, least of all Augustus, would have had the slightest interest in or concern about some baby born in Bethlehem. After all, Augustus was not only the most powerful man in the world, but also a son of a god who vanquished even the once great nation of Egypt. Little did Augustus know that the one true God was doing something astounding, as God's own kingdom invaded the Roman Empire through the birth of a baby in Bethlehem.You just never know what God is up to, or how He is going to do it.
If you ever visit the Piazza del Popolo and gaze upon the obelisk that honors the power of Augustus, you'll notice something curious. Reigning on the top of the obelisk is a symbol that once signified the cruel tyranny of Rome. There, on the great stone column that once honored an Egyptian pharaoh and a Roman emperor, is a cross.
Jesus did not come and establish an earthly kingdom. Jesus did not come and establish a media empire. Jesus did not come and win a debate. Jesus occasionally attracted big crowds, but they faded. Even the faithful denied him in the end.
There is something deeper here than God simply repurposing our loses. The cross was one type of "victory" for the Roman empire and another altogether for Christ. In some sense Christ, through His crucifixion, recreated the cross.
It's not about fixing, it is about remaking. We want God to fix our lives; He says "No - you need an entirely different life." Not easy, is it?