Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fragrant

Consider this quote from the Apostle Paul:
So imitate God. Follow Him like adored children, and live in love as the Anointed One loved you—so much that He gave Himself as a fragrant sacrifice, pleasing God. 
Ephesians 5:1-2 VOICE

Reality check: It can be easy 2000 years after the Christian Movement started to be lulled into a comfortable dreamy mood about this scripture. "Yes, Jesus was such a sweet, fragrant sacrifice, wasn't he."

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy comfortable dream states as much as the next guy. But in this letter we are back in the first century, a few decades after Jesus. The sacrifice Paul has in mind is the broken, bloody, tortured, humiliated body of an agonized man on a roman cross.

How interesting that perhaps a mere 30 years afterwards people in the Movement could think of THAT as "fragrant." As the New Testament scholar NT Wright has pointed our, perhaps the greatest proof of Jesus' resurrection is that it's the one thing that adequately explains the existence of the early church.

Particularly a church that could say this about THAT.
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