4.09.2012

What if this resurrection thing really did happen?

I'm a believer. Even in all of my angry, soul-searching rants of late...I still believe. Believe in what you may ask?


I believe in Jesus.

Oh no...there is that word, Jesus! Please keep reading. I promise I'm not going to go into some crazy, Bible-thumping, cheesiness. Not my style. Those people drive me nuts. You can't beat anyone over the head to make them get it...doesn't work that way. He has to find you.

He found me in college. I grew up in church, but it was a lot of years later before I finally got it...the relationship with Christ part. It took many years before it was completely woven into the very fabric of my life. The whole, "You've just got to have faith," thing didn't really work for me. I like information...lots of it. I like research and history. While I don't need proof beyond a shadow of a doubt to believe in something...it needs to make enough sense that it could be plausible. After that, if God is calling, there is a heart piece that will get you the rest of the way. It will help you cross the bridge that is the faith part...because after all...we are finite and it is impossible to know everything...about anything.

In college, I was blessed to meet some friends who were different than those I'd known before. They "talked the talk," but as I watched them live, they also "walked the walk." Me? I had a foot in both worlds...I knew what to say, I knew Bible stories, I went to church. However, true peace, hope, purpose for my life? It wasn't there. But God was working. I prayed that he would begin changing my heart...and He did. I thought that meant that I wouldn't be able to have any fun, but really, I was slowly convicted of behaviors, lifestyle choices, attitudes and beliefs that may not be pleasing to Him and it wasn't difficult to give those things up. When your purpose is different, and God is working...it doesn't feel as though you are losing things...because the big picture is more clear. Still, it wasn't overnight. It was gradual, over the span of a few years. God was working in my heart, but for me, part of that included reading, learning, researching the historicity of things. Even currently, I enjoy books about "faith," simply to remind me that you don't have to check your intellect at the door to be a Christian...a couple of chapters with C.S. Lewis or Tim Keller will clear up any misconceptions about that. Everyone has different pieces they need for their walk to grow. For me, it was about truly learning what was in the Bible and prayer for God just to get me there. It was also reading things other than the Bible (there is a list of some of my favorites on the right sidebar of my homepage), books that described the spiritual journeys of others, the reasons for God, the proof that is available. Another piece of the puzzle in my openness to the notion that there must be a Creator, is nature. It speaks to me. When I spend any time outside and note the beauty of His creation, the order, the perfect design of even the smallest creature...I am moved. Bottom line though, is that it is about Jesus. That I can't do right on my own, but if I accept Christ, then He payed the penalty for me. So even with all of the knowledge, at some point it comes to down to one of three options. Is he Lord, liar or lunatic (which is actually one of my favorite ways to think about this...as C.S. Lewis describes in Mere Christianity)? There are no other options...it must be one of those three.

So why the Jesus talk? Because today is Easter. Even with all that can go in to "religion," the bottom-line is that it is about Christ...did He die for me? I think he did...and it has changed the way I "do" life. I don't just meet Him on holidays or maybe even on Sundays. Every thought, every decision...in times of blessing and, as I am currently experiencing, in times of sorrow...Christ is there. Life on earth will end for all of us at some point. Whatever you determine, it is probably a good idea to at least give the topic some thought...and decide something. The stakes are too high for indifference. This resurrection thing...if it really did happen...then shouldn't that change everything?

If you've had bad experiences with crazy "Jesus" people in the past, let me apologize to you for them. Most don't mean to be loons, they are simply passionate and they want others to experience the joy that they have. Their intentions are good, even though the delivery can be ridiculous or judgmental or hypocritical or downright nutty. Some think it is completely up to them, and although God does call us to share our faith, He's got to be in it. It isn't up to us.

One thing that I love about our church, is that it is geared toward people with minds. It isn't a lot of rah-rah, dancing and snakes...it is just good, solid theology. If Easter has left you with questions, you owe it to yourself to at least do some research. The stakes are too high not to at least check it out. Find a good church. Not one that preaches prosperity or picks and chooses which parts of the Bible they like. Pick a good, theology filled church that believes the Bible in its entirety is the Word of God. And then ask Him to come into your heart and see what happens...

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