I think it's safe to say that these pairs of words are polar opposites. There is kind of a "never the twain shall meet" quality about each combination. These are "one or the other" propositions--you can't have both, at least not simultaneously . . . or so we think. As a lover of words, I have always enjoyed oxymorons--those quirky little figures of speech that carry contradiction like cargo--"jumbo shrimp," "act natural," "same difference," or "alone together." The word oxymoron is an oxymoron itself, meaning "sharply dull." Well, I think Jesus was a living oxymoron. He was God incarnate who left His home in HEAVEN and came to EARTH for one purpose--He said that purpose was to be lifted up.
Good - Bad High - Low Light - Dark Up - Down Victory - Defeat Success - Failure Honor - Disgrace Glory - Shame
"But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." John 12:32 NIVJesus used that phrase, "lifted up," several times as recorded by John (John 3:14, 8:28, 12:32). At first glance people might think that being lifted up meant receiving accolades and awards; but no--Jesus came to be lifted up in humiliation, disgrace, punishment, ignominy . . . lifted up on a cruel cross. Instead of the honor He was worthy to receive, Jesus was made a vivid example for all to see, of what became of people who did miracles and claimed to be the Son of God of all things! The chief priests, the Pharisees, and the Romans said to themselves with a sneer, "There, that should take care of that!" They could NOT have been more wrong! When Perfection was lifted up in lowdown disgrace to die between thieves, Jesus powerfully revealed His true glory! When the King of Kings spilled out His divine lifeblood, willingly, on purpose, because He chose to do so, He gave Himself to ransom wretches like you and me! He was lifted up to be brought low, crushed to be exalted, disgraced to show forth His true glory!
God-man Born to Die Lifted up in Humiliation Perfection Punished Glory through Disgrace King's blood to rescue wretches Eternal Life wrestled from the clutches of darkest deathSo yes, Jesus is my blessed oxymoron, a divine contradiction that makes perfect sense!
Out of the middle of a condemned pier, grows a little bush, the lone living thing in the crumbling ruin. Life out of death--a little visual oxymoron to remind us to live in stunning contradiction to the pull of sin and death . . . like Jesus did.
Share your thoughts with me about Jesus' glory and the ways He reveals it to you in unlikely places!