Monday, 30 August 2010

Unreasonable Response


An unreasonable response to Christianity is apathy. An unreasonable response to the claims of Jesus is indifference.

If there had not been born a man who said what Jesus had said then there’d be no need to respond to him. If there had not been born a man who claimed to die for the sin of the world then we needn’t stop and ask questions. If the tomb that he was buried in had remained occupied then there’d be no Christianity and there’d be no reason to insist upon our engagement with its claims.

Sometimes I do wish there’d not been born a man who said what Jesus said, who died for what he died for and whose followers claimed he’d risen. If there was not and he had not and they did not, then I’d be free to worry not. Reality would be easier to define, there’d be no need for me to wrestle with the invisible world of alternative reality. ‘God’ would be confined to the Greek myths and Jewish histories, and he wouldn’t intrude on my day. Life would be much more neatly packaged and tied down.

If Jesus wasn’t then I could accept this world as dark, cruel and competitive and designed to promote the strong and trample on the weak. If Jesus wasn’t then my sense of justice and morality could be put down as ‘misguided’ and ‘socially conditioned’. I could carry on my own merry little way and not have to reconcile the world’s hurt and pain to the idea of a God who does care, is all powerful and yet doesn’t stop it or respond to like I think he should. If Jesus wasn’t then there’d be no one to answer to, no ‘waste’ of a moment and no transgression to be repentant of.

Jesus was. Jesus did. Jesus is still alive.

The world is a different place from how it used to be. I can never imagine how my life would have turned out had Jesus not have been since Jesus was. The history of the western world, the history of civilisation as we know it is really the outworking of nations and peoples living in the light of an empty tomb in Jerusalem. It changed everything. We have laws, hospitals, hospices, charities, art, institutions and governments that have all been influenced because of a group of people who recognised the enormity of what Jesus’ life, death and resurrection meant.

If Jesus is Lord then Caesar isn’t. If Jesus is truth then secularism isn’t. If Jesus is… then the only response proportionate to his challenge, the only response acceptable, is complete and utter life change. An entire life reorientation is needed to line up with the new order of things. That is the only reasonable response to such a man. Every other response falls short of understanding who Jesus is.