Earlier this spring, I experienced the high honor of preaching at First Baptist, Wentzville, a very gracious church with a heart for the Word of God.
While I was preaching, I had this incredible thought run through my head that absolutely blew me away. Yes, honest preachers have all experienced this phenomenon. You are speaking and – boom! – thought bursts into your mind that has very little to do with the text, but it profoundly impacts your perceptions.
This time my text was 2 Kings 6:1-7. It is not a parable, analogy, or fantasy. If you believe the book from cover to cover, you know this event during the time of the kings is an accurate historical occurrence – the iron axe head floated.
In our day of technological advance, people are inclined to ask why the iron axe head floated. The question doesn’t mean inquisitive minds want to know the meaning of the impossible. Instead, they want to know how the impossible is made possible.
The answer has to do with the impossible addressed by the God of Scripture, who is the God of possibilities. After all, the Old Testament recounts a host of impossible situations. For example, a few pages to the left you read about Naaman, the general of the armies of Aram, stricken with the dreaded disease of leprosy. Or further left, you read about the Shunammite woman and her son, who was raised from the dead. In each case, impossible situations became the framework for a response from our mighty God.
So, how do the ferrous molecules become so buoyant that an axe head floats. I don’t know the actual “how” that takes place, but I know the One who does. He also is the One who spoke and invented the eye that can see and the hand that can hold and the ear that can hear. He is the One who resurrects a dead body that walks out of a three-day-old grave.
While we may not understand it all, we can know the why. One of the reasons for the why down by the creek bank is that the iron axe head, which belonged to someone else, demonstrated the power of God against the strength of mankind. In the day of the Iron Age, huge investments were made in iron machinery to display strength. Now, God, through Elisha, corrupted the military power of the day. The Lord our God is greater.
The power of God displayed through the resurrection of Jesus from the grave is the seal of the Father on the person and work of the Son (Acts 2:32-36). Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s grace is available to all who repent and believe in Him. We who were dead in trespasses and sins were once held captive by hell’s hoards. But God intervened, our unrighteousness is washed clean, and we are reconciled to God. Christ for us becomes Christ in us, the hope of glory.
It is obvious, in the context of the redemptive purpose of God, that whatever God did to the molecules in an axe head to make it float is nothing compared to what God did through the body of Jesus to create life in a corpse.
That is part of what Resurrection Sunday celebrations are all about. Our amazing, redeeming God loves us so much that through faith in Jesus, He takes the deadness of our souls and breathes new life in us. And by His faithful promises, He reconciles us to Himself and ultimately brings us to Himself forever (John 3:16).
That is the reality of the gospel. It seems to be metaphysical madness to believe such truth. But it makes more sense to believe what God says than to cast our fate on the oceans of unbelief that deny the greatness of the Almighty One.
Happy Resurrection Day!