Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dead or Alive: Part 2

I'm really tired for some reason so I'll make this short 'n sweet. I wanted to continue thinking about whether the Jesus I worship is dead or alive. And I think how you answer that question has a huge impact on your life, not only your relationship with Him. Allow me to briefly look at both answers to that question and the implications.

Dead. Most people will not answer that question this way. Most people will probably say that they most certainly worship a resurrected Savior. But if they do, their lives should reflect it. Amen? I have a hunch however that many people may believe that Jesus has risen and probably believe that they love a resurrected Savior but don't live like they do. Because if Christians really lived out what they believe, I believe that would change the world. But if your Jesus is dead you probably live a very safe and controlled life. Why? Because although you believe in Jesus, you don't really believe that He can take care of you NO MATTER WHAT. I mean if you really had the faith of even a mustard seed you might listen to what God puts on your heart more often. Since your Jesus is dead, you don't really believe that "Nothing is impossible with God" because quite frankly you have put Jesus into a box. Jesus is confined to a little round blue ball, also known as the earth, and therefore the only things you believe possible are those things you can observed or have experienced. And although you might believe Jesus really did create the universe like the Bible says, it is much more comfortable for you to think that the earth is the end of his creation, when in fact its just the beginning! Observation and experience define your faith, not hope or trust. If you can't touch it, taste it, hear it, feel it, smell it, or see it, chances are its not reality.

You are also much more comfortable with the idea of a dead Savior still lying in the tomb than a risen One even if the Christian world around you screams the opposite. Because in your mind, if Jesus really did rise from the dead, well, that changes everything. That changes how you have to live your life. That changes your experience of the world. That changes your capacity for experience. That changes your worldview and philosophy. You would much rather keep Jesus in the tomb because if He did rise then there is something/Someone bigger going on here than meets the eye. And the something/Someone that you can't see is also extremely, if not ridiculously, hard to put your faith in. Especially since this risen Savior proclaims the most radical, obnoxious, crazy, dangerous ideas and actions you have ever heard. Some of those things He said He can't possibly expect humans to do because you have seen the limitations of humanity and there is no way we could do it alone. But then He says His Spirit is going to be poured out for all to kind of take His place. But the crazy thing is that He also says that with this Spirit, we can do even greater things than Him, the miracle worker who walked on water and raised the dead. Ha. That is simply too much for you to believe. Instead, it makes you feel better to just leave Him in the tomb. A cage is a much better place for such a Radical Revolutionary.

Does that resonate with any of you? Sometimes I see myself falling into that very mindset that I very briefly outlined. But I will say this and then I'm done: buying into this mindset of caging Jesus and making excuses for inactivity and faithlessness throws Jesus right back into the tomb. When we plan our lives around safety and control, we are once again rolling that stone back in front of the tomb. And every time we refuse to follow this Radical Revolutionary to the depths of hell on earth, we are denying the resurrection. Because of the resurrection, nothing is impossible with God. We have victory over death and are grafted back into a direct connection to our Father through our Savior who preached the most dangerous gospel (good news) the world has ever heard. He preached that salvation has COME TO ALL WHO BELIEVE. Everyone has a shot. But once we have received this salvation and decided to follow this Savior, I believe we must do it with reckless abandon and not with a lukewarm, independent heart. To close for the night, check out a few of the things Jesus has to say:

Matthew 11:12: "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it."

Matthew 16:18-19: "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this roc I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven..."

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