Saturday, April 23, 2011
JoyJoy. Today is Easter Sunday—the most important day of a Christian's faith. Someone recently asked me, if I had to distill it down to one thing, what was the one thing about Christianity that secures my faith. It was a great question and one each of us should have an answer for, no matter what our belief system. Why do we believe what we believe.
The Resurrection of Jesus has always been the linchpin of my faith. Here is why. At the time of Jesus's death, he was causing all sorts of trouble. The Jewish religious leaders were worried that Jesus was so radical and against the way things had always been done 'religiously' up until that point, that he and his followers were going to start an uprising that would cause them to loose their religious power and might even cause the Romans, the civil authorities, to come down hard on them. The Jews had acquired a certain amount of respect and autonomy within the Roman Empire and they didn't want to loose that. The Romans didn't like Jesus because he said crazy stuff like "Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's and Give to God what is God's." They weren't really sure what that meant, but it sounded a lot like disloyalty to Ceasar and that could not be tolerated. Even Jesus's disciples, who were looking for a King Messiah, someone to rule God's Kingdom on earth, didn't quite get that this Kingdom was a ways off and there was a lot a servanthood and 'lesser-ness' required first. So, when Jesus was crucified, put in that tomb with a Roman Soldier guarding the entrance and then allegedly rose from the dead, the Romans and the Jewish Religious leaders, the only two groups with power at their disposal, really wanted to find that missing body. The disciples were scattered, confused and disillusioned. They didn't know what was going on. Had the body been found, it would have stopped this new religious 'cult' of Christianity from getting started. Jesus fulfilling his pre-death claims changed everything in that world.
So, because the body was never found, I say to myself...."Wow, Jesus must have, in fact, risen from the dead and I have never heard of any other human who has ever done that. I guess Jesus must really be God. Therefore, I have to take all that stuff he said while on earth seriously, including the part about Him being the only way to God".
That is why I believe—because they never found the body.
Yesterday, I was running my squirrel-chasing dog Daisy :), at my local park. There was an Easter Egg Hunt about to begin with lots of cute little children. The announcer let everyone know that the excitement was going to start in 5 minutes so "get ready!" One little boy was running as fast as he could to get to the hunt... but he was going in the wrong direction. He was earnest, determined and trying hard, but he was going in the wrong direction. Had his mom and dad not caught up with him and told him which way to go, he would have missed the whole thing.
On this Easter Sunday, I am reminded why I need to listen to Jesus's words and I am thankful that He caught up with me and told me which way to go.
More today than any other day of the year....
~To God Be The Glory~