“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor. 1:18)
The largest gap…the largest vertical displacement in terms of distance…that has ever occurred in human redemptive history…on the continuum graph-line of goodness and light…is the space between the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and then His resurrection from the dead three days later.
The event of the cross was so catastrophic for the disciples of Jesus that it sent them into a tailspin of doubt and despair…beyond comprehension to these followers of Jesus during the three-day interval in time until the resurrection.
The previously unimaginable gap between spiritual darkness exhibited through hatred, prejudice, and stubborn unbelief producing the rejection of Jesus on the cross…and the incredible jump up the continuum of light of the glorious resurrection of Jesus exhibiting the complete acceptance, validation, and approval of God the Father…of the sinless performance of Jesus Christ the Son of God…subsequently transformed the disciples and changed the world from then on.
Even though Jesus forewarned the disciples in advance of His upcoming death in Jerusalem at the hands of the Jewish leaders, and His rising from the dead three days later…worldly conventional thinking was so strong within the still-to-be-spiritually reborn disciples (Jn. 20:22)…that the gap beginning with the unprecedented depth of spiritual darkness leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus…took these disciples by surprise and sent them scattering at the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The challenge of overcoming the accumulated spiritual darkness of mankind’s sin…even tested the Son of God Jesus in Gethsemane the night before Calvary…as we read about Jesus having to go back and pray a second time…incomprehensible to us in the divine, perfect Son of God…sweating drops of blood…and requiring the aid of an angel from heaven (Lk. 22:39-44)…saying “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful unto death” (Mk. 14:34).
The positive outcome three days later of the resurrection of Jesus having a newly restored body…reaching across this vertical gap…this displacement in distance from death to life…completed the connection within the God-composed journey of faith life-script for Jesus of Nazareth to bridge this gap between our deserved damnation as rebels…to our salvation by grace through faith…unachievable and incomprehensible while we are lost within the confusion of the zone of mixed light-and- darkness in worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
Even to this day, people within the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking go about their lives without even recognizing this enormous gap in history between the cross and the resurrection…as if it never happened at all.
The two most important events in all of human history…the cross and the resurrection…and the enormous gap between them in terms of spiritual light that only God Himself could bridge through Christ…in restoring our broken relationship with Him…is not only brushed aside as unimportant but is totally obscured by our self-centered pursuit of the cares of this world for the benefit of “me, myself, and I” (Lk. 8:14).
A critically important point for Spirit-born Christians to understand in terms of biblical faith…is that the gospel message of Christ goes into the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and lifts people up and out…unto a higher place on the vertical graph-line continuum of light and goodness (Jn. 10:10; 11:25-26).
Even though we by necessity live our lives partially within conventional normalcy…pay our bills, show up for work, eat well and exercise…a God-composed adventure of faith life-script falls above and outside of worldly conventional normalcy.
Worldly conventional thinking…without God as our King and Ruler…as junior gods sitting atop the thrones of our lives…is where the “blind lead the blind…both falling into a ditch” (Mt. 15:14). This is where a man can gain the whole world yet lose his own soul (Mt. 16:26).
Worldly conventional normalcy is where the “woman at the well” resides before she meets Jesus (Jn. 4:5-30).
The blindness of worldly conventional thinking explains the townspeople of Nazareth attempting to throw Jesus off a cliff to His death…unable to reconcile the humbleness of His station in life as a local carpenter…with the enormous yet perfectly true statement in their synagogue that the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2 was being fulfilled that very day.
Worldly conventional thinking explains the family of Jesus not believing in Him (Mk. 3:21; Jn. 1:5, 7:5).
Worldly conventional normalcy and thinking sadly results in: “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (Jn. 6:66).
Worldly conventional thinking results in everyone forsaking Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Worldly conventional normalcy and thinking produces the blindness and ignorance that has Jesus saying from the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk. 23:34).
Worldly conventional normalcy and thinking will produce the bewildering opposition to the gospel message (Acts 14:22)…a gospel that Christians lovingly and selflessly bring to this world.
As Spirit-born Christians walking with Jesus…we are in the world…but not of the world (Heb. 11:16).