This Sunday is Easter Sunday and I do hope you’re celebrating more than the death of diet and resurrection of your chocolate addiction.
I’m doing a series called Live Die Repeat (yes after the Tom Cruise movie) and have been thinking as deeply as someone like I can about the entire death/ life cycle.
No matter your views about God every Easter we’re confronted with this weird reality that a God-man named Jesus at least thought that he died to bring us back to God. Chocolate is a much more manageable emotion, but this is the real meaning of Easter.
I love that we learn tolerance and respect for all faiths in Canada, including the more recent and somehow fashionable faith in SELF (it normally doesn’t end well), but let’s not forget that we do owe the basic morality our country enjoys to the teachings of Jesus. It’s what our country was founded on. We seem today to eat the icing and forget the cake and wonder why our stomachs are so upset and we’re still hungry?
No serious person of any intellect can deny the existence and impact of Jesus. To declare that his existenceitselfwas cooked up by religious kooks one would need to deny the historical existence of Julius Caesar on the basis that Italians invented him to argue their case for world ascendancy. There’s simply too much history to ignore, and there’s no motive for the crime anyway because Jesus taught servanthood and suffering, not how to take over the world and make everybody do what we want. Humans were already pretty good at that.
It’s not the existence of Jesus that is really the crux of the tension, but rather what to do with him? It’s a tension that is much better to wrestle with than skirt, and this pressure is where we define or disgrace ourselves.
An easy mental conclusion is that he was just another good (and therefore optional) teacher? We live in a day where we keep our options open until there’s no choice left at all, but this is disastrous in every area it creeps into from business to family to spirituality.
However… Jesus won’t allow you to think that of himself, he told us as much. Either he’s truth or he’s not. An unavoidable dilemma, but also comforting and dissimilar from many religions including some in his own name. It was never a belief in Jesus that saved us, but rather Jesus himself. This of course does the one thing we secretly hoped it wouldn’t: removes control from our graspy hands, but thank heavens it did!
This should make more sense to us. It is not my belief in marriage that saved me from the single macaroni-eating life, it was Erin herself:)
But the resurrection? How could any sane person believe in the resurrection of a man from the dead?
This is where we must stop speaking and listen. It’s hard to be wise when all we do is talk about what we already think we know.
I introduced the men in a Venue group to a talk I did about sex in marriage with a “It’s hard to improve if we’re defending what’s not working:)”. I then proceeded to offer up the idea that as humiliating as it seems we need actually talk to our wives about it rather than have our feelings hurt because they don’t take it upon themselves to read our minds?
I live with 5 females. I can’t walk around on eggshells while they hide and feel hurt because I have nothing better to do than guess how everybody is feeling all the time. I also have other concerns such as feeding them, and that’s hard to do when I’m on a teenage emotional hotline 24/7.
So we’re trying to teach them when they’re young to learn how they’re feeling, why, and what feelings are helpful and what aren’t true and how to accurately express them. The endgame is so they can get married and maturely express themselves to their future mates and be healthy.
Here’s a shock, but who’s job is it to express how I’m feeling in a classy way? Mine. And who’s job is it in Erin’s life to bring up issues she’s concerned about? Erin’s.
This is where Jesus has clearly expressed himself and we need to stop telling him his concerns are of no concern because we think he should be different than he really is: IE a version of ourselves.
That’s good theology.
But what to do with the resurrection? That’s a slap in the face of a sensible, modern, reasonable Canadian.
The resurrection of Jesus is the hinge of history, an undeniable reality in and of itself unless our emotion replaces fact. Hundreds of people with nothing to gain saw and met him after Rome put him in the ground. HUNDREDS. These same people went out and many were tortured and died, not for their beliefs, but because they associated with someone who had the nerve to call a spade a spade, then to die to fix it.
They were not confrontational or angry. They were not cultish or stupid. They were not bored or “out for the money”. They were not judgmental or harsh. They desired no ascendancy. They were people like you and I, but they had been changed by Whom they met and refused to pretend nothing had happened.
This Easter my prayer for you is that you would put yourself in the same room as Jesus somewhere.
I shudder to think how my life would have turned out if I hadn’t listened to my best friend tell me from University about this girl I should meet who was a little… weird (his word)? I like weird and I’ve been liking her ever since.
But then again I had reached the decision that I was tired of being lonely,
No matter how much control, or macaroni, it afforded me:)