It shouldn’t work. It makes no sense. It is not lofty wisdom and it is not a miraculous sign, as far as signs expected go. It’s really just a message, an announcement. When you break it down — you know, information-wise — it’s really simply an historical anecdote.
But it’s really all we’ve got.
See, while some seek to persuade by barbarism or bribery, by marauding or manipulation, we’ve got a message. (shrug)
Some religious missions will put a knife to your throat. In this one, the only throat threatened may be our own. Some crack the metaphorical whip, the leverage of the law. Us? Anything we might hand out says not “to do” but “was done.” What the heck are we thinking?
As Rabshakeh asked Hezekiah, “Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war?” (2 Kings 18:20).
The answer is yes. Yes, we do.
Because this news of a thing done two thousand years ago is power today straight from another world. It crushes strongholds, destroys spiritual kingdoms. It resurrects the dead, revives the weary. It captures and frees, builds and destroys, transforms and terrifies. The infernal prince of the power of the air? One little word shall fell him.
Some seek wisdom and others seek signs. But we preach Christ crucified. Foolishness. Scandalizing. Where the magnificent gears of religious machinations turn, while the scrolls of philosophy endlessly unfurl, while the cult of spiritual thuggery keeps up its march of bloodshed and tyranny, we sing “Jesus loves me, this is I know. For the Bible tells me so.” It’s for children, for God’s sake.
And yet in a world of perverse wickedness, of rampant injustice, of deep brokenness, of desperation and of despair — this one little message is our only hope.
And it is the only power. You cannot stop it. One day every knee and tongue will be compelled to respond to this laughable notion, be it with regret or reverence.
Dress for action like a man, world. The gospel is coming.
[T]he word of the truth, the gospel, [has come] to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing.
– Colossians 1:5-6