Hope in the Heartland
Easter in my personal space
Pastor, Gracepoint Church
If He didn’t rise from the dead, then Jesus was a wacko.
Respectfully, though, we could play nice and play up His positive qualities rather than His personal quirks. He was, after all, kind and charismatic. And, reportedly, this Rabbi from Nazareth had a powerful way with words.
But the whole “I’ve come from heaven to save you” attitude was too odious to ignore.
It’s like that aunt with 12 cats that shows up at family reunions … she’s sweet, but she smells like a litter box. You prefer to deal with her from a distance. When she invades your personal space, you have a dilemma. And when she says that she picked up a van load of strays on the way — because God spoke to her from an open can of cat food and told her to save all homeless cats — aunt Mildred goes from being harmlessly sincere to rubber-room spooky.
Was Jesus sincere but spooky? He insisted that, as the Messiah, God the Father had sent Him to die on the cross so that He could rise from the dead. He said He came to offer us a new home … in heaven … with God the Father … with Whom He was equal.
Easter unavoidably invades our personal space, forcing us to make a decision about Jesus Christ. Was He telling the truth? Was He resurrected? Or do His claims reek of insanity or insincerity? It all depends on the resurrection. If Jesus did rise from the dead, then He was right … and that changes everything.