“This is going to be a blog about Easter.”
Yes it is.
Let me go off on a rant for a second.
I dislike “extra” holiday stuff. I don’t like the commercialization of Christmas, and I don’t like old Christmas movies (the only ones I watch are Elf, Four Christmases, and Christmas Vacation). I don’t like Black Friday, and I don’t really watch the parade. I don’t care for Peeps. I don’t know. I look forward to seeing my family– especially since Molly left home for school. Anything that gets in the way of the holiday being centered around relationships and Jesus, I don’t enjoy it very much. I’m a Scrooge, I know. And to be honest, I personally only endorse Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. I don’t “celebrate” anything else. But whatever. I’m an old soul. Roast me. It’s fine.
*John Denver begins to play*
Let’s get to the main focus of the post.
Quite often, I find that people love to bring up the same things about my faith, in a critical sense. I have experienced this first hand with a teammate from PC who is pretty hostile toward religion and Christianity. Some common questions are:
– “Well, if God loves everyone, why is there so much pain and stuff in the world?”
– “How do you know that the Bible is accurate?”
– “Do you really know if Jesus is the only way to Heaven?”
I won’t answer all of these now, for that would take a while. But I would love to hone in on this one idea. Every single question that anyone could have about Christianity’s validity rests simply on the credibility of Jesus. The easiest way to judge a religion is to test the words and ideas of its leader and see if they hold water. People question the values of Christianity, or the authority of the Bible, or the accuracy of its record because, essentially, they are doubting Jesus. It’s kind of like a playbook. If someone handed you a playbook with a big, red “A” on it and Nick Saban’s signature, you probably wouldn’t sit there and question it. You wouldn’t doubt the plays and draw-ups and schemes in it. This is all due wholly to the fact that the man who designed this playbook– Nick Saban– has proven over and over again that his way is a good way to win. You trust the playbook because you trust Saban. So why don’t we trust the Bible?
We don’t trust Jesus.
I find my spiritual security in 3 big things. I am the way I am, and I do the things I do because of these three personal tenants, which are pretty universal, and not super enlightening. But there are three things that hold me down when it comes to my spiritual life.
God is consistently affirming His hand in my life. I have experienced answered prayer after answered prayer. He has taken such good care of me, especially since I’ve been in college. I can’t ever really question His presence or His authority because, to be quite honest, I can’t get away from it. A great example of this would be my friends from PC. I was so worried about finding people as uplifting and as wonderful my friends from Kings Mountain, who are honestly irreplaceable. And God lead me right to some equally as fantastic people in Clinton. That right there calls for a solid #GoHose.
God is constantly changing people’s lives around me. I think one thing that is easy to get stuck on with God is the intimacy. It’s a truly unique and awe-inspiring experience to have a personal relationship with the Creator, but sometimes it feels like a box. Having a cool experience with God is awesome, but the uniqueness of it almost makes you question if it was Him or not. That is, until you see that it’s not unique. A great example of this to me is seeing my friend Thomas realize his call to ministry from the Lord. I had yet to meet someone who had the call placed on their life (that was my age, at least). And sure enough, I get to PC, and Thomas is identifying with my experiences and my thoughts. And sure enough, he’s going to seminary in the fall. I was one of the tools used to affirm Thomas’ call, and he was one of the tools used to affirm my God experience. There are other Bible thumpers out there just like me…
Jesus is who He says He is. Jesus said and did some pretty miraculous and outrageous things. But the things He did, like heal the leper and cast the demons out of the man into the pigs, they all pale in comparison to His most outrageous claim. So, how should we measure Jesus? Let’s take the most ridiculous thing He claimed and test its legitimacy. Jesus literally said that, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” No chance, right? Cheating death? I don’t believe it. But riddle me this, Batman…
Where are the bones at?
The man who our calendar is situated around, the man who was born in a barn and changed a whole geographic region, the man who forgave people of their sins (a condemnable action), the man who influenced a great deal of Western thought, the man who was the reason Herod murdered every male baby his age, the man who challenged everything the Sanhedrin and the world stood for, the man who performed miracles, the man who fed 10,000 people with someone’s lunch box, the man who raised the dead to life, the man who was fully human and fully God at the same time– where are his bones at? Do we really think that someone would let this man’s bones sit idly by while we tell stories about him? Is it really likely that such a controversial historical figure would remain in his place for 2000+ years? I mean, it’s literally Jesus. Wouldn’t you love to see some remaining artifact of His?
There are over 500 people who testified to having seen Jesus after His death, alive and in physicality– talking, walking, and breathing. If by some odd and illogical chance we want to doubt the testimony of over 500 people, then there can only be one way to prove Jesus wrong– find the bones of His decayed body. But you can’t. And you literally never will.
I don’t believe in Jesus because I can see Him. I don’t believe in Jesus because He is the main character of a book. I don’t believe in Jesus because I need something to believe in.
I believe in Jesus because He said He would be back, and He made it back. Or He made it out, I should say. So can Jesus walk on water? Can He heal a blind man? Can He love a person like me? Seeing as He can take nails in His hands under the weight of the sins of the world… I would say anything else is a warm-up.
And last time I checked, we can put humans in space, we can travel to the depths of the ocean, and we can deep-fry anything we want to.
But we can’t touch the bones of Jesus Christ.
Chase after the Lord and watch the blessings fall.