The incarnation is not just a warm-up to the cross and resurrection; it’s an essential part of the drama. It’s part of God’s tattoo. God, out of His own free choice (grace), took the initiative (grace) to step down into our humanity (grace) – and not just any part of humanity, but one clothed with humility and shame (grace) – in order to bridge the gap between God and man (grace) and therefore reclaim that genuine relationship He desires with us (grace).
– Sprinkle, Preston; Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us; David C. Cook Publishing; Colorado Springs, CO; Kindle version; copyright 2014; page 141
We must not reinterpret how God feels about us based on our circumstances. The cross settles forever how God feel about us, and the resurrection shows us how much power is using to bring about His good plan for our lives.
– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 184
In Christ, there is nothing I can do that would make You love me more, and nothing I have done that makes You love me less.
Your presence and approval are all I need for everlasting joy.
As you have been to me, so I will be to others.
As I pray, I’ll measure Your compassion by the cross and Your power by the resurrection.
– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 44
For Jesus came to raise the dead. He did not come to reward the rewardable, improve the improvable, or correct the correctable; he came simply to be the resurrection and the life of those who will take their stand on a death he can use instead of on a life he cannot.
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 184
The foolishness of God in the cross is wiser than the wisdom of the world. The righteousness that avails before God is being claimed by the crucified and resurrected Christ. It is not like accomplishing something but like dying and coming to life. It is not like earning something but more like falling in love. It is not the attainment of a long-sought goal, the arrival at the end of a process, but the beginning of something absolutely new, something never before heard of or entertained…
Grace says, “Believe it” and everything — EVERYTHING! — is already done. It is the creative Word of God. If that doesn’t work then nothing will…The theologian of the cross knows that the love of God creates precisely out of nothing. Therefore the sinner must be reduced to nothing in order to be saved…[This] is the hope of the resurrection. God brings life out of death. He calls into being that which is from that which is not. In order that there be a resurrection, the sinner must die. All presumption must be ended. The truth must be seen
– Gerhard Forde
as quoted by Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 148
It was not glory first, but suffering and then glory, that the prophets foretold. Jesus is the suffering servant of Isaiah 53, who bears the sins of many and justifies the wicked. First the cross, then the resurrection; first suffering in this age and then sharing in Christ’s victory as we enter the Sabbath rest in his train.
Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 88
Whenever Jesus tells them [the disciples] about the cross that they will bear, they are all ears; not really knowing what he is talking about, they nevertheless responded affirmatively. They thought they could handle their own burdens. “What Would Jesus Do?” is something that they thought they were ready to answer if anyone asked. It is the work that Jesus alone could do for them – his death and resurrection – that they found beside the point.
– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 86