Unusual times call for an Unusual Saviour!
While the world is reeling under the weight of this pandemic a few things have inevitably surfaced. The geo-political messiahs can’t really do much in a crisis, the financial gurus can’t stop or alter economic disasters, the health experts, though selfless are limited in resources and knowledge, and the self-professed gurus and god-men don’t amount to much in reversing any of these.
Real crises call for the Real Christ to save and restore. The ideas of macho-messiahs and avenger-type super-heroes don’t work in the face of real palpable agony, suffering and grief. Do they?!
We need a transcendent source to look unto – a source that has the power to deliver, the desire to deliver and has demonstrated the ability to deliver. In Jesus Christ, we have the One, who has demonstrated it through his very own resurrection.
The Church is uniquely positioned to initiate a conversation with friends who are looking for hope in the midst of this crisis. As humans, though we are capable of great exploits, we are still very limited in our abilities. Therefore, we need a transcendent source to look unto – a source that has the power to deliver, the desire to deliver and has demonstrated the ability to deliver. In Jesus Christ, we have the One, who has demonstrated it through his very own resurrection that he predicted and fulfilled.
In Jesus we have a Messiah who is uniquely counter-cultural to the popular ideas of ‘saving heroes’, the ones that rescue from a distance and appear invincible. In Jesus Christ, we have a Person, God’s answer to pain and suffering, and not a mere philosophy that can’t help reduce the angst of a grieving parent or child that was lost to this pandemic.
Jesus is called the Man of Sorrows, acquainted with pain and grief, which makes him an empathetic Messiah and not just a sympathetic one. He suffered for us, he suffers with us and supports us in our suffering and doesn’t allow us to be tested beyond what we can bear and gives us the resources to help us as we walk through sorrow, suffering and pain.
So I find the God of the Bible as the one that comes closest to understanding our pain, helping us through pain and taking pain upon himself, to eternally usher us into the sure hope of a place and state, where there will be no pain and no more sorrow.
He is the only saviour who is the Sorrowing Saviour, Suffering Saviour, Scarred Saviour and Sinless Saviour who can redeem us from our spiritual, physical, emotional and relational brokenness.
While the sting of death is real, and the weight of grief is real, the hope of eternal life is equally real, too!
The Biblical worldview is the only one that gives us a sure hope to hold on to during this crisis, a hope to look forward to in spite of the crisis, and the hope to communicate this Christ as the Eternal Hope to this panic-stricken world that needs a sure someone whom they can hold on to as calamity upon calamity threatens us globally and personally.
In the words of the beloved hymn, “He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater…” he gives grace, strength, mercy, peace and hope. This would be my way of communicating hope to this hurting, fearful and needy world.
In Jesus, we have a Messiah who is counter-cultural to the popular ideas of ‘saving heroes’, the ones that rescue from a distance and appear invincible. In Jesus Christ, we have a Person, God’s answer to pain and suffering, and not a mere philosophy.
Edward Shilito’s poem has impacted me deeply and I’ve attempted using it among those that need to see Jesus, as an authentic, accessible, counter-trends Messiah that they can identify with at a personal level.
A part of the poem that comforts me and has helped me greatly goes thus:
“The other gods were strong, but thou wast weak,
They rode, but you stumbled to a throne,
And to our wounds, only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but thou alone.”
We are called to be agents of hope, uniquely advantaged to present to the hurting world, Jesus – the Eternal Hope!