ACCORDING TO ANCIENT LEGEND,
Gordius was a poor peasant who became king of Phrygia in Asia Minor. In
response to the prophecy of an oracle, as the first man coming into the
city in a wagon and approaching the public square and the temple of Zeus,
he had been declared king. In gratitude, Gordius dedicated his wagon to
the god Zeus. It was placed in the grove of the temple, and the pole of
the wagon was tied to the yoke with a very intricate knot that defied untying.
No one could untie it. With the passing of time, the saying developed that
whoever was successful in untying the knot would be ruler of all of Asia.
The story goes that in 333 B.C. Alexander the Great came through in his
conquest of the world. Faced with the disturbing difficulty of being unable
to untie the Gordian knot, he took his sword and with one decisive stroke
cut through it. This is the origin of the expression "cut the Gordian knot,"
and it is used to describe a situation where a perplexing (and seemingly
insurmountable) problem is solved by a quick and decisive action.
CUTTING THE GORDIAN KNOT
Man is created in the very image of God, but man has become a fallen
creature. The presence of sin and the consequent depravity that follows
its practice presents a problem that seemingly defies solution. Its universal
scope is even as the apostle Paul wrote: "For all have sinned, and come
short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "For we know the whole creation
groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" (Romans 8:22). "For
the wages of sin is death…" (Romans 6:23). Mankind certainly has made a
first-class mess of it. All of the problems of the world are traced back
to sin. It is the cause of all heartache and all sorrow (directly or indirectly).
Oh what personal, what complicated, problems can come into an individual’s
life as the result of sin! So many are victims caught up in the web of
their own doings. They are on a collision course with judgment as they
speed full throttle on down the dead-end, one-way street of life. Many
in despair are at the end of their rope now. The wages of sin say, "You
have had it!" You are under condemnation. The sentence is as good as passed
and executed. Death and hell await.
But wait! The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has cut the Gordian
knot of sin. An utterly desperate and "impossible" situation (to man) calls
for a grand and decisive action on the part of Almighty God to absolve
the problem once and for all. Man is helplessly and hopelessly lost. But
wait! "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
life" (John 3:16). Jesus through the virgin birth, and taking the form
of man (thus IMMANUEL), completely identified himself with the human race
from the fetus to the grave. Although he committed no sin, he tasted the
wages of sin like all of mankind and for all of mankind. Now he has nipped
death in the bud, sin. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew
no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (II Corinthians
5:21). We were on death row, waiting execution. God has with one decisive
stroke cut through all the legal entanglements of the law and said: "YOU’RE
FORGIVEN! GO AND SIN NO MORE!" The apostle Paul says that He has "delivered
us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom
of his dear Son" (Colossians 1:13). And, listen! "Wherefore he is able
also to save them [us] to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing
he ever liveth to make intercession for them [us]" (Hebrews 7:25). We are
in the kingdom of his love and grace. We have the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
We are a new creation in Christ Jesus. A new start in life is ours, and
we are offered strength and help in the time of need. The Gordian knot
of sin has been servered!