We have seen strange things in our days. Ranging from the most expensive Christmas tree, valued at 11 million dollars. The punch line being it was bejewelled by Muslims in the desert emirate of Abu Dhabi. How about so called Christians in Nigeria who merged Islam with Christianity to come up with Chrislam? But as far as oxymorons are concerned, lets go back to the bible. The cross.
An oxymoron (from Greek ὀξύμωρον, “sharp dull”) is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. Paul asked in his letter to the Corinthians: Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles. Paul points back to the vile item that both Jews and Greeks call the ultimate oxymoron, the messiah, nailed on the cursed tree as the wisdom and power of God.
The Cross was at once the most horrible and the most beautiful example of God’s wrath. It was the most just and the most gracious act in history. God would have been more than unjust, He would have been diabolical to punish Jesus if Jesus had not first willingly taken on Himself the sins of the world. Once Christ had done that, once he volunteered to be the Lamb of God, laden with our sin, then He became the most grotesque and vile thing on this plant. With the concentrated load of sin He carried, He became utterly repugnant to the Father. God poured out His wrath on this obscene thing. God made Christ accursed for the sin He bore. Herein was God’s holy justice perfectly manifest. Yet it was done for us. He took what justice demanded from us. ~The Holiness of God, R.C Sproul
To those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who will believe.
If we do not preach about sin and God’s judgment on it, we cannot present Christ as Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. And if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who saves only from self and the sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible. Such preaching may indeed soothe some (to bejewel christmas trees with silver and gold) , but it will help nobody; for a Christ who is not seen and sought as a Saviour from sin will not be found to save from self or from anything else.
What a disastrous paradox that would be!
So well written and explained. Thank you.
Perfectly said, Michael. My FB friends are becoming very familiar with your writings. :0)