Paradox

Christ’s own being on the Cross contained all the clashing contrarieties and scandalous fates of human existence. Life Himself was identified with death; the Light of the world was enveloped in darkness. The feet of the Man who said “I am the Way” feared to tread upon it and prayed, “If it be possible, not that way.” The Water of Life was thirsty. The Bread of Life was hungry. The divine Lawgiver was Himself unjustly outlawed. The Holy One was identified with the unholy. The Lion of Judah was crucified as a lamb. The hands that made the world and raised the dead were fixed by nails until they were rigid in death. Men’s hope of heaven descended into hell. He was deprived of all His rights, to be with us in our privation.

—Frank Lake, Clinical Theology, 116

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Stand Amazed

See the eternal Son of God, immortal Son of Man,
Now dwelling in an earthly clod whom Heaven cannot contain!
Stand amazed, ye heavens, look at this! See the Lord of earth and skies:
Low humbled to the dust He is, and in a manger lies!

—Charles Wesley

Amazing Condescension

Now our whole souls are filled with one thought—the condescension of God. Now we shall not be stumbled at passages which speak of the exceeding humiliation to which He stooped. As we assign no limit to the height of His glory, we shall assign none to the depths of His grace. Yea, so far from taking offense at the inferiority of the position which He assumed, the very lowliness of His incarnation and very degradation of the death He died, will kindle in us a brighter and more burning gratitude, when we remember that though rich it was for your sakes He became poor; and that for us, His wayward and wandering sheep, the chief Shepherd offered up Himself as the Lamb of God, laying down His life of His own accord, and taking it up again to die no more.

—Edward Henry Bickersteth, The Trinity (1892)