Late July….Christmas is still far over the horizon and Easter is well behind us. What better time for a blog-lecture on Jesus the Christ?
Jesus was a person who lived around 2000 years ago in Palestine. He was a great leader and motivator of people. He was sentenced to death by crucifixion as an enemy of the Roman Empire. All of this is verifiable historically.
It really doesn’t take a great leap of faith to believe at least some of the stories about what he did and said. In the century following his ministry, over 20 books were written about his life that still exist in some form. No two are the same, but there is plenty of overlap. The 4 most popular are the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
If a person is the subject of 20 books in 2008, that is a big deal. But to have so many writer covering you centuries before widespread literacy and the printing press, he was the ish, as they say.
The term gospel means “good news,” and this can be taken quite literally by anyone who acknowledges a higher power at work in the universe, call it God. God is powerfully creative. People have creativity, imagination, and power, as well. Simply put, we are created in God’s image, so we have a bit of God inside of us.
Jesus was no different. Anything is possible for God, and to the extent that you are aware of the divinity inside you, anything is possible for you. The most fulfilled and successful among us tend to know this, whether or not they go to church. Anyone who believes in God must agree that it’s not out of the realm of possibility for God to miraculously heal, control the weather, or even bring people back from the dead. Jesus did all this and taught his followers they could do the same and more.
And if you’re still with me, you can understand how a bunch of people who tried to kill Jesus couldn’t stop him, not they they didn’t make a passionate attempt. Anything is possible, so he rose from the dead. Once you understand this, all sorts of possibilities (and corresponding challenges) begin to open up.
And if you’re still with me, I’d recommend grabbing the nearest Bible (there are plenty online, too) and reading one of those four Gospels. Be sure it’s a version you understand–I recommend the New International Version and New Revised Standard Version. Very few people actually do this. Even lifelong Christians can go years without reading more than a couple of verses; and it shows. Take in a couple of chapters in one sitting if you dare. It’s almost scary how close to home the words can hit.