Friday, July 1, 2016
The above is a screen capture from a website about the movie “Risen” – a good movie we’ve enjoyed. Not a “great” movie, but it is about a great subject. The fact that Jesus is risen changed the world. Not His death, though it was planned without knowing the result:
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:8 KJV)
Those who killed Him did not understand what they sat in motion. Paul understood how very important this very point was in understanding God’s message:
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (1 Corinthians 15:12-14 KJV)
It was very important then that Jesus was truly dead, buried and remained in the grave donated by Joseph of Arimathaea. So important that a large stone was placed before the entrance and guards assigned.
The movie is fiction, though what is shown and said does not deny nor negate biblical narratives. A bit of scripted wording is out of order, but the words are stated in the Bible and is acceptable in giving the gospel message.
I enjoyed the movie, but one phrase sticks in my mind: Why do you follow Him? The Roman tribune Clavius asks that question – and the answer in the scene is valid. But it is difficult for us, two thousand years later to give that same answer.
Yes – it is one reason why I follow Him, but I did not see what Clavius and the disciples saw. I did not see what the disciples saw for three years, yet did not affect Judas Iscariot.
A Muslim, in attempting to evangelize, explained very carefully that we are all born Muslim, but are led astray by cultures and other religion. Since I was born in what was considered a Christian nation, I grew up not understanding his “truth.” He would not accept that the same was true for him and learning more was important.
I do not accept at face value what I am told. That attitude was necessary in most of my work environments. Questions are necessary to achieve the best results. Questions asked early and answers researched thoroughly made the work easier. We cannot assume our beliefs are valid without questions, but it still comes down to faith because not all of the answers make sense.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)
The rest of that chapter lists a number of people who placed faith in God and we know the result of that faith. Jesus, on the other hand, had knowledge, so in the next chapter we read:
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)
Why do I follow Him? Not only because He died for us, but because He lives. I believe He was, is and will remain risen.