I’m intrigued with the paradoxes in Scripture. In 2 Corinthians 12:10, Paul says, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” How often have I experienced the strength of Christ enabling me when I am weak and inadequate!
Paul Tripp in New Morning Mercies writes: “Death is the doorway to life. Hopelessness is the entrance to hope. Weakness is the place to find strength. Injustice is where mercy flows. Life comes to those who deserve death. Defeat is actually a victory. The end is really a beginning. Out of sorrow comes eternal celebration. The tomb is where new life begins.”
This is the paradox of grace!
As delighted as I am with the colors of fall, I also struggle with the nearness of winter. Autumn leaves fall…which leave the trees bare and dead looking. I tell myself I like the changing of the seasons. It brings variety to life, but in my heart, I can’t wait for spring and the colors of the flowers and budding green on the trees again.
But here’s the strangest paradox of all, I think. Death is necessary for fruit and a productive life. Consider what Jesus said to his disciples in John 12:24. “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” There is a purpose for death. It’s not the end, but the beginning of something more. More than anything we can imagine.
Jesus died in order to conquer death. I love the picture Paul uses to describe the end of death in 2 Corinthians 5:4: “So that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life…” which is exactly what happened when Jesus rose victorious from the dead.