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Crazy Love

• Greg Boyd

Christ’s death and resurrection changed EVERYTHING! When we see this emerge from the story of God, it revolutionizes the way we view God, ourselves, others, and creation.

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When Jesus died and was resurrected, it changed everything. It wasn’t just to save us at some point in the future when Jesus returns, although that is a part of it. Jesus died so that we could live a life that looks like we’re out of our minds.

Paul wrote 2 Corinthians because he had a view of God that was crazy beautiful and full of crazy love. Paul had been a well respected Jewish leader. He could have lived a life that was comfortable. But when he encountered Jesus, he realized that he had a different calling. He began traveling from place to place throughout the Roman Empire, planting churches and preaching the gospel. While he was doing this, he was jailed, beaten, and almost killed many times. To many, this seems crazy. But for Paul, he felt compelled to do this because he understood just how much Jesus loved him.

The Good News that was unveiled on Easter morning goes beyond all human understanding. The reason Paul appeared crazy to the world is that he accepted the full beauty of the revelation of God in Christ’s death and resurrection. Christ died for all. And he was raised for all.

Some people get confused by this statement. This doesn’t mean that Jesus made sure everyone gets to heaven. What it does mean is that Jesus died so that everyone could have the chance to have a loving relationship with God. Many people want to equate Jesus’ death and resurrection with a ticket to heaven, but that is missing a beautiful part of the story.

When God conquered sin, death, Satan and all evil, he did nothing less than bring about a new creation. But what prevents us from seeing this? Faith according to the Bible isn’t just believing certain things are true. It is trusting God that what he says is true, and not with some irrational understanding, but an understanding that is seen when you choose to see it.

Paul says that we should regard no one from a worldly point of view. Now that God has brought about a new creation, we must see the world differently. No longer do we view our enemies as enemies. No longer do we view the poor and the helpless with eyes of indifference. No longer do we view sinners with eyes of judgment. The new creation has come and Jesus reframes how we see the world.

In the movie clip, Mother Theresa began to see that everyone was Jesus in disguise. This is not a mythical pantheism, that is, where God is in everything. Rather, it was Jesus reframing how she saw the world. Mother Theresa began to see the world as God does, that Jesus represents all of humanity to God. The reality of God’s love and Jesus’ sacrifice is that we now have the opportunity to love and be loved by God with nothing to get in the way. Jesus opened the door for a beautiful relationship with God today and not some far off time.

This was why Paul felt compelled to live his life in service to Jesus, because he saw Jesus in every action that he did. Love began to erupt from within him, and nothing in this world could stop him from showing that love to others and spreading the Good News of the resurrection. This is the Easter message; a message of crazy love. A message of beauty, sacrifice, and redemption through the resurrection of Jesus.

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Topics: Gratitude, Love, Resurrection


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14 thoughts on “Crazy Love

  1. Gopher says:

    I love the comment about the Easter story being an instance in which God reaches down and scoops up humanity and says “You’re coming with me!” A very insightful, original and fresh idea. Thank you.

  2. Kevin says:

    At 11:45 Greg says “He stood in the place of everyone”

    Isn’t that the ‘substitutionary’ view of the atonement?
    I thought we were not to look at it that way?

  3. Dave Pritchard says:

    Kevin,

    Whether we see it as a Punitive Substitution, Vicarious Sacrifice, some kind of Governmental Atonement Theory or a combination of all of these, without “The Cross”, we are without “The Resurrection”! …and without His Resurrection, well then……..we ain’t got squat! I think it’s safe to see it as “God’s Supreme Act of Love” on his part, designed to bring us back fully to himself.

  4. Kevin says:

    Thanks Dave; good point!

  5. Austin says:

    Kevin,

    I, along with Greg, hold the christus victor view of the atonement. It is quite different from the penal substitution theory, but is still able to confirm that Jesus died in our place. Here is an excerpt from one of Greg’s essays on the matter. “In the Christus Victor view, Jesus died as our substitute and bore our sin and guilt by voluntarily experiencing the full force of the rebel kingdom we have all allowed to reign on the earth. To save us, he experienced the full consequences of sin that we otherwise would have experienced. In so doing, he broke open the gates of hell, destroyed the power of sin, erased the law that stood against us, and thereby freed us to receive the Holy Spirit and walk in right relatedness with God.” I believe this is what he means by saying Jesus stood in the place of everyone!

  6. Peter says:

    One of the issues to arise from the Atonement is that you will have some saying that Christ only died for the elect….which is, in part, true, but then the victory at the cross is not complete….He hasn’t died for the sin of the whole world. However, if He has, does that mean all men are saved?
    The answer lies in that all who are “in Adam” (all mankind) are dead….but it will only be those “in Christ” who will be raised on the last day. I found the following booklet (free to download) to be helpful:-
    http://www.newcreation.org.au/books/pdf/167_SavingWorkChrist.pdf

  7. Jill says:

    I think the elect is anyone who chooses to truly accept Christ. To say you accept Christ and to really “truly accept Christ’ are two different things. If you truly accept Christ you want nothing more then to become like him, even if we fall short of that time and time again. But, regardless of falling short of it, it is still our number one goal and therefore hopefully we are improving towards that goal.

  8. Jason says:

    Thanks for this message, Greg. You nailed it! God has indeed included everyone in Christ. It is finished! God has fulfilled His purpose to reconcile all things to Himself in Christ. As you say, the “all” that are in Adam (which is everyone) is the same “all” that God has included in Christ. God is no respecter of persons and doesn’t leave anyone out of His love and work in Christ. Now He is calling us all to believe Him and come to Christ for Life and to enter into His “rest”. This isn’t “universalism” (all will ultimately be saved), so don’t compromise! Keep preaching this GREAT News!

  9. solvay says:

    I tweeted this. I pray that even one person listens and hears.

  10. kevin says:

    @Peter…..yes, and my current pastor changes one very important preposition in 1 Timothy 4:10 that makes the verse read entirely different. The verse says “…..He is the savior OF all people…” my friend says ‘He is the savior FOR all people’. Of six translations, all say OF.
    aargh

  11. kevin says:

    @Austin…….that clarifies things quite a bit. I think the “Ransom” view is very close, right?

  12. kevin says:

    In a nutshell, as greg pointed out in a recent message, Jesus was the first jew to fulfill God’s promise that, through israel, ALL the world would be blessed. Let us be imitators of Christ! Maybe during the time when Jesus comes and establishes his New Jerusalem, we the Elect, will go out to the nations, and in power, continue Jesus’ work of saving All mankind!
    Does this make sense to anyone?

  13. Matt says:

    WONDERFUL!!! Thank you Woodland Hills and Greg for sharing this beautiful and clear perspective on the whole of life! This is truly transforming.

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