Upside Down

1 Corinthians 1:18-25
This foolish plan of God is wiser than the
wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is
stronger than the greatest of human strength (v.25).

My friend’s sister is due to give birth, and no one
is happy about it. Her baby has Trisomy 18, a
fatal disease that will likely claim the infant just
minutes after she is born. It seems fiendishly upside down
that the baby is alive as long as she remains within her
mother, but the moment she is born she will begin to die.
Cutting the umbilical cord is not her liberating path to
life, but a death sentence. What should be a day of joy
will commence a season of mourning.

This situation would be entirely hopeless if not for Jesus.
He has reversed this tragically twisted scenario with an
equally ironic moment that leads in the opposite direction.
Just as this baby’s birth is really a death, so Jesus’ death
conceals the power of life.

God may have never appeared weaker than when
Jesus hung on the cross, naked and broken and bearing
the guilt of the world. But this moment of weakness was
actually God’s greatest triumph, for Jesus took death with
Him into the depths, and when He arose He left death in
the dust. Death died in the death of Christ.

Martin Luther observed that it takes faith to believe this
“theology of the cross.” Most people take a commonsense
view of the world, believing that what they see is what
they get. But we who interpret life through the lens of the
cross learn to raise a fist of defiance at death.

It may seem that death has won, for it has taken our loved
ones from us. But Jesus’ death and resurrection assure us that death does not have
the last word, for the grave where we say goodbye is resurrection ground.
(My friend’s niece was born—and died—days after I wrote this devo. Her
parents named her Hope.) —Mike Wittmer

“O death, where is your victory? O death,
where is your sting?”  . . . But thank God! He
gives us victory over sin and death through
our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:55,57).

Why was Hope the perfect name for this
baby girl? Can you think of other counterintuitive
truths of the Christian faith, where reality is not.