Study Guide: Crazy Love

Sunday March 31, 2013 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

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.

Extended Summary:

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.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What additional questions and comments did you have about the sermon and supporting texts?
  2. How did this message provoke your understanding of God’s work in your life today? How does the resurrection change how you live starting now and not when you die?
  3. How have you understood the message of the resurrection before today?
  4. What stops you from living a life that is characterized by crazy love?
  5. Who in your life do you need to share this message of Easter with? How might you begin sharing this story of crazy love?