Making Sense Out of Nonsense

From The Messenger March 2024

Written by: Pastor Matt Judd
When it comes to the Christian faith, the Cross and the Resurrection are cornerstone realities that bring all of salvation history together. Without the Cross, there can be no forgiveness for sin. But without the Resurrection, the Cross loses its purpose and power and becomes just another meaningless death. In the Resurrection of Jesus, we see God’s vindication of Jesus’ sinless life and sacrificial death – it is God’s proclamation of “Well done!” to His Son.
Despite this reality, we also know that both the cross and the resurrection have posed problems of understanding throughout history. Paul speaks clearly to the “problem” of the cross to the Corinthian Church, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" 1 Corinthians 1:18.
When things happen that are outside of our comprehension or ability to understand, we don’t often imagine that the problem is with us – with our wisdom or perspective. Instead, we assume that it is the event itself that is the problem. Nonsense means simply spoken or written words that have no meaning or make no sense. In other words, when what we have seen or heard doesn’t fit into our present understanding or experience, we label it nonsense or foolish. This is what happens on the first Easter morning with the women who go to the tomb. They find Jesus’ body gone and then angels appear and tell them, He is not here; he has risen! The text says it is at this moment that the women remember what Jesus had told them. In other words, the women began to make sense of the sights they were seeing, and the words Jesus had spoken earlier. But when the women tell the disciples, they think the story is nonsense – it doesn’t match their understanding and experience, yet. Even though they had witnessed the miracles of Jesus, including the raising of Lazarus, and others, from the dead, they couldn’t comprehend what they were hearing.
Man making clay pot
Even so, the Resurrection remained true, though it defied the disciples (or our) understanding. Repeatedly in the Bible, we remember that God is not required to operate in a way that makes logical sense to us, for He is the Potter and we are the clay, but that He must always act according to His nature. Therefore, what was nonsense to the disciples at the time becomes clearer later to them (and to us). The Resurrection makes perfect sense to the cause of salvation history, the character of Jesus and His promises and declarations about Himself. At Easter, Jesus makes sense out of the nonsense – of our world and in our lives. He invites us into a life-affirming relationship with our Creator and Savior that speaks a better alternative to the culture of death that is celebrated today. Will you let Jesus make sense of your life this Easter?
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