Going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”
~Matthew 26:39, CSB
A paradox is a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.
Two questions arise when reading Matthew 26:39: First, did Jesus and the Father have conflicting wills and second, was it possible for God to save us any other way other than the cross? We know that Gabriel said in Luke 1:37, “Nothing is impossible with God.” Jesus said in Mark 10:27 that “Everything is possible with God.” So if everything is possible, why did Jesus pray, “if it is possible?” Obviously, there was no other way so the one impossibility is that God could not legally save us a part from Christ sacrifice on the cross. Thus we have a profound paradox but our faith is paradoxical. Very few things in the Christian life make sense. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Paul said, “I have been crucified and I no longer live.” You would suppose that this means Paul is dead, right! But then he says, “The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God.” So, is he dead or alive. Common sense dictates that he must be one or the other. In truth, he is both dead and alive: he is dead to self and alive to Christ. Paul was a living dead man. This is just one of many paradoxes in the bible. They don’t diminish our faith, they increase it.
The fact that I can explain the paradox in Galatians 2:20 does not mean that I can explain them all. The one above about possible and impossible I cannot resolve. Jesus said that all things are possible with God so I believe Him but I also believe that had there been another way to save us a part from Jesus suffering, the Father would have taken that way. This leads me to believe, it was impossible for the Father to save us any other way. I don’t believe that Jesus had insecurities and so He did not fear as we fear but he did experience dread and there no question that he dreaded the cross. No human being in their right mind would not dread such a death. I believe we see the humanity of Jesus coming out in His prayer in the garden. There was no rebellion, no conflict of wills. Jesus wanted the same thing as the Father.
Our faith is filled with paradoxes. I suppose it is God’s way of putting us to the test. Can we trust Him when what He says does not make sense? Jack Taylor said repeatedly, “We don’t have enough sense for God’s sense to make sense.” I have quoted him a thousand times but as we learned last Sunday night, that doesn’t mean anything. Trust and obey, there is no other way to be happy in Jesus. One thing is certain, no man will ever relate to God on the basis of human reason. This may be why the paradoxes are there. Without faith, it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God.
- No coons yesterday morning but that’s OK. I don’t mind them getting some of the corn as long as they don’t get it all. I think they are full of marsh mellows. I’ve thought about putting ex-lax in the marsh mellows of benadryl. I could shot them before they wake up.
- Taking grand sons to see Braves today. I have Big L and Ty, the two talking machines. Not worried about Ryder, he’s like his daddy. He don’t talk. I may carry some benadryl with me to give to them as soon as we leave the ball park.
- We have a new employee at DBC as was informed on Wednesday. Mandy the Administrative Assistant has been replaced by Amanda the Office Manager. With such a promotion and so much responsibility, shouldn’t she get a raise? I hear office managers don’t come cheap.
- Mother use to tell me constantly: “Son, I get tired just reading your church bulletin, do you folks ever rest?” I am wondering the same thing. We got so many groups going and coming, I’m getting dizzy. Thank goodness, I am retired.
- Buddy the coon dog is a “Corn Dog.” Chloe bug my garden helper was helping me shuck corn yesterday and she pitched one to Buddy. I said, “Chloe, what do you mean, dogs don’t eat corn.” She said, “Buddy does,” and sure enough he does.
- Pray for our President and First Lady.