Ephesians 3:8-10 "To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places."

Abraham was a nomad. Isaac was blind. Jacob lived with frustration of having two wives who were jealous sisters. Moses endured the ceaseless complaining and discontent of an entire people. Samuel knew the sting of rejection. David lived the life of a fugitive. Isaiah was to prophecy until there was total devastation. Jeremiah delivered messages no one wished to hear. Jesus died the death of a criminal.

Paul understood God is not a one dimensional God. God did the unthinkable through ways that defied believability. Though He promised Abraham that He would bring a blessing to all humanity (Genesis 12:3), not even the angels understood what God sought to accomplish in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:10-12).

What was this incredible thing God did? He unleashed a power on earth that could allow any man or woman (regardless of culture, education, or background) to become one of the called out people of God. Any man or woman who had the courage to allow God to teach him or her the purpose and focus of life could belong to God. Those who have the courage to be “the called out for God” are to be living testimonies to God’s great wisdom and power.

Could God free slaves from one of the world’s most powerful nations? Yes! Could God make a nation from those slaves? Yes! Could God send His son through that nation? Yes! Could God provide the atonement for all the evil humanity commits through the blood of His son? Yes! Could God raise His son from death? Yes! Could God forgive anyone who accepts His sacrifice and trusts His promises? Yes! Can God forgive you? Yes!

That is the mystery God revealed in Jesus Christ! The astounding thing is not what we have done! The astounding thing is what God has done! Astoundingly, God did it through a death and resurrection!

This was not just any death. It was the death of a son totally devoted to God’s will. It was not just any resurrection (resurrections had occurred before through God’s power). This resurrection was unique. It was the permanent defeat of death. It still stands as the proof that death is never the end of the man or woman with the courage to belong to God.

No one but God can defeat OUR death. Let all human power take note—only God defeats death permanently! God demonstrated this truth in Jesus’ resurrection!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 8 September 2005

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