Tonight Kathy and I went to see the movie Risen, not knowing what to expect but hopeful for something that would, at least, be similar to the Gospel. The movie portrays the struggles of a Roman Tribune as he oversees the crucifixion of Jesus and then investigates the rumored resurrection of this Hebrew prophet and magician (as the actor portraying Pilate called him). The hunt for the body of Jesus (Y’shua) and his followers and the events following that lead this Roman to follow them to Galilee, while different from my journey to faith, mirror what must occur in anyone’s heart.
Belief in Jesus is not just an assent of his existence or even the facts surrounding his life, death, and resurrection (even as attested by extra-Biblical sources). Belief is more a willingness to not only accept what happened (even when you don’t have all [or any] or your questions answered to your satisfaction). It is putting all of your hope for eternity in this person even as you sit in a chair, allowing all your weight to rest upon it even if you’ve never sat in that particular chair before. Some chairs will fail you; Jesus never will.
There had been far too many times when I’ve whined about my lot in life (even those parts I brought upon myself). I see others whose success I envy, even, I am ashamed to admit, those within the church whose God-given talents are used while I sit and watch and listen.
Coming out of that depiction of the days following Christ’s death, burial and resurrection have me, at least right now, feeling a new breath of life. There are so many people for whom I am thankful; above them all I am grateful for the One, Who was willing to take on flesh and live among fallen mankind. Giving up His life as He did, not only through the suffering of the torture and crucifixion but by bearing all my sins to set me free of their burden forever!