The cross & the empty tomb — bringing love and power together

The cross of Jesus is the love of God in action.

The empty tomb of Jesus is the power of God in action.

The problem with human love is that it lacks the power to do what it longs to do. My heart goes out to those stuck in suffering and grief, to those suffering oppression and injustice, but my power is so limited that I can do little to effect change for them. But the empty tomb proves the power of God. Even death is no obstacle to him.

The problem with human power is that it lacks the love necessary to keep it from doing what it longs to do. The corrupting ability of power over humans has been noted and proved throughout history. The powerful often end up using their power — whether it’s political, financial, religious, social, or otherwise — for their own ends and at the cost of others, because their power exceeds their ability to love. But the cross of Jesus proves the love of God. Rather than taking up power to achieve his ends, Jesus sets aside power in love to achieve good ends for us.

The power and love of God are so integrated that the psalmist in Psalm 62:11-12 says that the two things are really one thing: “One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.”

Without love, power is harsh and oppressive.

Without power, love is weak and sentimental.

In the cross and the empty tomb, Jesus shows the love and power of God in a strong and beautiful unity.