Thy Great Mystery of Christ

The mystery of Christ is great.

The mystery of Christ is not visible to the naked eye or to the casual listener. The mystery of Christ can offend us. The mystery of Christ does offend us. 

Why is there so much sin, evil, pain, and suffering? 

What is the mystery of Christ, I ask. Why is the Messiah an enigma whose power and story escape and transcend our earthly expectations? Who is the Messiah from Nazareth who brokered a new covenant between heaven and earth and revealed the kingdom of God to us with a simultaneously awesome and awful manner? 

Jesus, the God-man, scandalizes heaven and earth when he empties himself of his Divine rights and powers and enters into our suffering, experiences our temptations, sympathizes with our weaknesses, becoming a high priest who doesn’t perform empty ritual but rather brings his holiness into our darkness. He steps into the ring on our behalf and takes the blows. 

He not only comes to meet us in our suffering, but he climbs up the ladder to the heights of our violence and he descends into the pit of our pain. He comes as God on the cross, a fierce lion in the guise of a meek sheep. He liberates us from the existential fear and tyranny of our own inner turmoil and haunting anxieties. He offers freedom from condemnation and shame.

Not only does he liberate, but he transforms our suffering. He takes our weakness and makes it strength. He takes foolishness and subverts it into wisdom. He plants gardens in the compost heap of our rank mess. 

Not only does he transform our suffering, he elevates the suffering one. He exalts the humble. He lifts up the lowly. He takes our shattered identity, our ragged cloaks, our expired green cards, our poverty, our worn-out scripts for living, and gives us a new name, a new set of clothes, a new citizenship, a new story, a new home, a new family.

Not only does he elevate, but he then invites us on a forever journey as his companions, coheirs, and co-rulers in the kingdom of God. 

The mystery of Christ is great. The mystery of Christ is revealed. 

Christ has come. Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ is coming again.

Be strong. Take courage. Fear not. Hold unswervingly to the hope you profess for he who promised is faithful.


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