Many of you have heard the evangelistic argument that Christ could not be solely a “good man” or “wise teacher”. As so many of us who have studied the Scriptures can attest, the “trilemma” that C.S. Lewis brought to our attention is that Jesus is either the Lord He claims to be or there are only two other options – He was a liar or He was a lunatic.
Non-Christians often attempt to placate our radical emphasis of the truth of this God-Man. Instead of denying His existence, they’ll “throw us a bone” with acknowledging the existence of a Hebrew named Jesus that was radical for His day. They might even go so far as to quote Him and agree with His more pleasant parables.
I have to admit that while my heart should certainly revere the miracle of Easter each and every day, joyously celebrating that upon the resurrection from death my Savior declared to the universe for all eternity the truth of Who He is and allowed my broken sinful self a chance at salvation, sometimes I treat Him like a liar … like a lunatic.
These recent days have been flooded with darkness. From emotional, spiritual, and physical pain have come guttural cries. Late into the night I’ve sobbed so hard a dear friend had to tuck herself in next to me and remind me to breathe. This holiest of weeks remembered, more than any other, should point a way out of my pain with a glowing neon “Exit” arrow – directing me to the solid truth of a carpenter who was fully man while also fully God.
His promises ring hollow as I beg for answers, and suddenly my somewhat-trusting lens shifts to seeing Him as a liar. When not too weary, my exhausted spirit battles back… but Kate… why would He lie about providing, answering, healing and loving if He did not, could not lie about Who He really is? Did His miracles stop with His ascension back to heaven? …maybe He’s not a lunatic, but many days I feel a crazy fool for claiming and proclaiming Him when I am stuck in the mud.
And this swirl of emotions is nothing new to Him. My volleying between trust and anger, hopeful prayers and hurling threats was much the same as it was for Jesus thousands of years ago during this very Holy Week. He was welcomed and ushered in on Palm Sunday with song! Gladness! Joy! He was seen and celebrated! And within days He was being tortured – flesh and muscle pulled off of bone as Roman soldiers specially trained in inflicting pain ripped through his body with whips that had shards of glass knotted into the leather. He had spikes pounded through His hands and feet so that He would be unable to push Himself up for air and would drown in the fluid of His own lungs, scraping his torn-open back against the raw wooden splinters of a cross every time He tried.
Many of the same wide eyes that watched Him suffer and cheered at His death were the same wide eyes that danced in delight at His arrival into town, His teachings and His love.
A pair of those wide eyes belongs to me.
The viscerally illustrated scene of His crucifixion makes me cringe, but the heartbeat behind it – the one of mistrust and misunderstanding… the one too quickly swayed by the sweet and sinister lies of His enemy… that heartbeat can be found thump-thumping behind my sternum far too often.
I want to proclaim the truth of Him in His ENTIRETY (promises, character, etc.) with the same impassioned preaching with which I proclaim the truth of His miraculous resurrection.
When the enemy whispers that He can’t be trusted, I want to see the vision of a bloodied cross and emptied tomb in my mind’s eye and KNOW that He can be.
I’m not there yet.
I believe in the facts, but I don’t believe in His character as a Father or as a Friend.
Fellow Hopers, will you pray that this Easter week reveals to our unbelieving friends and our own sometimes-unbelieving hearts that He REALLY is Lord, and that as Lord He would reveal to our sometimes-unbelieving hearts who He really is?
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”