Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary

14 Apr 2017

Friday is still here, but Sunday is Coming

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I just got back from my church’s Good Friday service. Pastor Dave Doran preached from 2 Corinthians 13:4: “For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you.” The major portion of the service was dedicated to understanding why Jesus, the Creator of the world and the One who continues to hold the world together by His power, came in weakness. Readers of this blog will know the answer—because man sinned and had no hope unless a perfect, sinless sacrifice was made, a sacrifice only God’s Son could make.

What struck me most personally, however, was the consideration of the next line, “we are weak in Him.” Doran highlighted the frail nature of the believer’s life. While many in our culture focus on the extravagant benefits of following Christ, they often leave out the trials and suffering that Jesus promised would accompany a life dedicated to Him (Matt 16:24). They believe vicarious atonement means vicarious suffering; i.e., since Jesus suffered, I don’t have to suffer.[1] They are like readers of Hebrews 11 who refuse to go past verses 32-35a (e.g., the faithful “conquer kingdoms,” “stopped the mouths of lions,” “received their dead back to life”) to 35b-27 (e.g., the faithful “were tortured,” “others suffered mocking and flogging,” “went about … destitute, afflicted, mistreated”).

As Paul says, “we are weak in Him.” In light of this reality, Pastor used a powerful illustration of the resurrection as an image of our future hope. Jesus’ weakness was exhibited most pointedly in the death on Friday’s cross, yet Sunday’s vindication was coming. In the same way, Christians live in the Friday. Figuratively speaking tomorrow will be Friday, the next day will be Friday, and the next day will be Friday. But one glorious day, the weakness we now experience will be overcome through our own resurrection.[2] So take courage Christian, Friday does not last forever.

[1] Karen Jobes uses this quip throughout her commentary on 1 Peter.

[2] This is not to say that there is not strength for today, for Paul explicitly mentions that by God’s power we have life in Christ.