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The miracle of Jesus' resurrection defies any simple categorisation

By Allen Sleith

An item on the BBC recently caught my attention. It featured the intriguingly named 'Museum of Failure' in Helsingborg, Sweden whose curator, Samuel West, exhibits over 70 products that people hoped would be a commercial success but proved to be a failure. Here you can find 'New Coke' which was launched to great fanfare in 1984 but discontinued in 2002 as customers clamoured for the original; or worse, Coke Blak, first introduced in 2006 but pulled just two years later following complaints about its poor taste and excessive caffeine.

Look a bit further and you come across a 1970s icon, the Betamax, which even though it was faster and offered a clearer picture than its VHS rival, failed because it didn't capture the video market. Or how about the Rejuvenique Face Mask which delivered mild electric shocks to the wearer's face, supposedly to contract facial muscles in an effort to lift and tone them? It was released to less than favourable reviews in 1999 and never caught on, not least perhaps, because it made you look like a baddie from Doctor Who.

Another product was a 1989 board game called 'Trump: The Game' based on the then real estate agenda. The perception that the latter is associated with "failure" is ironic for being a "loser" is the one thing the man can't stand; a sign of weakness to be avoided at all costs. And yet it gives you pause for thought to reflect upon how much we're all in thrall to the simple (shall we say simplistic?) binaries of success or failure, winner or loser.

Of course, sometimes the stark necessity of assessing something as a success or a failure is crystal clear and distressingly so in the failure of a London tower block to withstand a fire.

But in some areas, especially in the depths of the human spirit, such categories are woefully inadequate. Of Jesus' death, Paul says "he was crucified in weakness" (which some translate as "he was crucified as a weakling").

Yet through his resurrection that's now interpreted as the strange paradoxical way in which God is at work to bring new life: Christ crucified, the wisdom and power of God, in which vulnerability is the prelude to the only victory God deems worth the winning.

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