I have been reviewing Andy Stanley’s book ‘Irresistible’ and was struggling with the idea that the Church would be irresistible if it lived out the Gospel. Then today I was reading John Stott’s ‘The Cross of Christ’ and he used the word ‘irresistible’ to describe the draw of the cross. Aha! I understood - the cross is an offense to the self-righteous and the self-preserving, but for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness it is irresistible - like water to the thirsty and bread to the hungry.
We rediscover the apostolic emphasis on the Cross when we read the gospel with Moslems. We find that, although the offence of the Cross remains, its magnetic power is irresistible.
‘Irresistible’ is the very word an Iranian student used when telling me of his conversion to Christ. Brought up to read the Koran, say his prayers and lead a good life, he nevertheless knew that he was separated from God by his sins. When Christian friends brought him to church and encouraged him to read the Bible, he learnt that Jesus Christ had died for his forgiveness. ‘For me the offer was irresistible and heaven-sent,’ he said, and he cried to God to have mercy on him through Christ. Almost immediately ‘the burden of my past life was lifted. I felt as if a huge weight…had gone. With the relief and sense of lightness came incredible joy. At last it had happened. I was free of my past. I knew that God had forgiven me, and I felt clean. I wanted to shout, and tell everybody.’
In what way has the cross proven ‘irresistible’ in your life? Here are two classic hymns that I always enjoyed growing up.