"The Worst Thing. The Best Thing. The Same Thing"
The execution of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary involves the greatest moral evil of history and the worst thing that ever happened. "Ye killed the Prince of life" declared the Apostle Peter to Israel directly, and indirectly to the entire human race since our sins made necessary the sacrifice of the Savior (Acts 3:15). Perfect Innocence died at the hands of the guilty, as motivated and empowered by devilish entities. No wrong or calamity compares with this crime of the ages, the darkness of which we cannot begin to fully comprehend.
"For dogs have compassed Me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed Me: they pierced My hands and My feet" (Psalm 22:16).
Another reality, however, accompanies the horror of our Lord's suffering and death. In fact, the eyes of faith see the worst thing as the best thing.
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (I Peter 3:18).
For those who receive the saving grace of the Lord Jesus, the darkness of Calvary shines forth with the brightest of lights. There we see the love of God in its most vivid display as "the Just for the unjust" reveals His glorious heart of grace and makes the possible the redemption of our hearts of need. Thus, we view the worst thing and the best thing as the same thing. "The darkness and the light are both alike unto Thee" said the Psalmist of our Lord's perspective, which we share when thinking of Calvary's cross, and Calvary's Christ (Psalm 139:12).
A sublime wonder of truth glimmers from this perspective of death, life, and light in Christ. Indeed, if the worst thing becomes the best thing for trusting hearts, might it be that God is able to accomplish the same reality in all other challenges? We know the answer: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:35-37). The eye of faith sees crosses for what they are, but then sees them also for who Christ is as the transcendent glory revealed in darkness. This applies to everything in our lives: "In all these things." The worst thing. The best thing. The same thing. This was Calvary, and this remains the Lord's way that calls us to see Him working in our challenges, difficulties, sorrows, and losses to reveal that crosses serve as prelude to resurrections and glories of grace that could not otherwise be known.
"The Light shineth in darkness."
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed, always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body" (II Corinthians 4:6-10).
Weekly Memory Verse
For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous. But the way of the ungodly shall perish.