He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Friday, March 19, 2010 

Ultimate Bad Meets Ultimate Good in the Gospel

Is death a bad thing? Yes. But Scripture tells us that the brightest of good things can be found in the midst of evil’s darkness.

The cross most powerfully demonstrates this. On the hill of death outside the city, the best thing ever came out of the worst thing ever. Peter says this about Christ’s death: “This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross” (Acts 2:23).

What could be worse than the killing of the Messiah? What could be more unjust than the illegal execution of the one perfect person who ever lived? What could be a greater injustice than the torture of the One who came to free us from death? Peter says that the death of Christ was an evil deed by evil men, the ultimate bad thing done to the ultimate good person.

But Peter says more. He says that God delivered up Jesus for his own “set purpose.” This terrible moment was under God’s control. He planned from the beginning to use the ultimate evil to accomplish the ultimate good for humanity. In this dark moment, God conquered sin and death—two enemies we could never defeat on our own. On that cross of death, sin and righteousness met.

In the same way, God often brings the most lasting and wonderful things out of the darkest moments in our lives. Sometimes the death of one of God’s children preaches the gospel more powerfully than his life ever could. Sometimes in the shadow of imminent death, feuding family members make peace. Sometimes a funeral brings closure to things that would never have been resolved any other way.

Your Lord is present in this darkness. He planned the darkest things to result in redemptive good for his children. He surrendered his Son to death so that you could have life. He will not abandon you now.

- Paul David Tripp, Grief: Finding Hope Again

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