Sunday, 25 March 2012
Today is the 1 year anniversary of the most powerful experience I've ever had in my life. I met God in my basement. It's still so fresh in my memory. Every shaking day of those first few confusing and life-changing weeks. In a sense, I was saved from my ignorance. I was saved, but I was not "saved." Because I still don't know Jesus.
A year ago, on Easter Sunday, I went to church for the first time in about 22 years, and I learned the story of this man who was a great humanitarian, pacifist, and teacher. He was unjustly killed, and entombed. But here's where the story gets weird: He comes back to life. He visits his friends for awhile, announces that he'll return, and ascends "up" to Heaven.
um.. ok... I don't think I understand - but I'm not sure of the questions to ask. And people have a tendency to look at me as if I just asked them to explain what blue is, or single digit arithmetic. The dude died for your sins and then rose from the dead - what part of that do you not understand?? well, most of it. Here's what I've got so far.
Jesus was God
And yet he was also a man. He had the power to change the laws of physics, but he suffered from pain and hunger. He was a human descendent of an ancient Israeli king, King David - and yet he was also David's progenitor, and the creator of the world, and you and I. Jesus prayed to God, and also God "dwelt" within him.
Jesus was here for a reason
Although, I'm not sure what that reason is. Was he here to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven? Was he here to deliver a message of love, or peace, or hope? Was he here to tell us how we should live, and behave, and worship God? Was he here to die, and return to life?
Jesus saved us
Now here's one I really struggle to make sense of. Somehow, possibly relating to the archaic practice of sacrifice that Jesus Himself was morally opposed to, his sacrifice of his own life negates my misdeeds and allows God to forgive me. I really do want to understand, and be grateful. But I struggle with the idea that God required sacrifice, or pain, or blood, in exchange for forgiveness. And I don't want to think that any part of the unjust murder of such a great man is on my hands, even if it was 2000 years ago.
Jesus is still alive and he is coming back
I found this statement a couple months back scrawled on the sidewalk as I was stumbling along late at night. Is it true? Is he blending in among the throngs of people on earth, possibly masquerading as a Doctor without borders, walking along the streets of Haiti, making some lame child walk? Long after I'm gone, just before the end of life as we know it, Jesus will return to mankind and separate the grain from the chaff. He'll come back, but why? And what are we supposed to do till then?
So, you see, I don't know Jesus. And what's more, I don't know what it means to accept him as a my savior. But I'm ready to understand. And now, I'm just waiting.