“The power of any idea lies, not in its certainty or truth, but rather in the vividness of its human appeal.” – The Urantia Book, Papers 92:3.3
As a closing thought to this years Easter celebration, I have given much consideration as to why we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, with the biblical emphasis centered around his death, but perhaps not so much on his life and teachings.
In the Urantia Book the authors distinguish between the fact of Jesus’ life and of his resurrection, the tenet of Christian doctrine. Christianity is about his divinity, whereas the Urantia Book presentation is about his mortal life and his teachings.
In the vividness of the appeal of Jesus, we think about it in terms of what has had more impact; which is the better headline: “Jesus of Nazareth Upsets Local Religious Leaders,” or “Jesus of Nazareth has Risen from the Dead.”?
The answer seems obvious.
The vividness of the risen Christ is undeniable. It is that story that has captivated the hearts, minds and souls of people for two-thousand years. And yet his resurrection can almost be seen as being a normal event.
Jesus knew man, and he knew his death and resurrection would arouse the soul of mankind quite effectively, it would get far more attention down through the ages, and God knew this as well, which is partly why we must see that Jesus laid down his life, in addition to the other things that came from his death on the cross, to make sure we got the message that had its most impressive appeal.
But remember, it is the vividness of the its appeal that gets attention, and not the truth, necessarily. The truth of Jesus’ life, his day-to-day living among men, is the more important story. Many people who would otherwise love to know the life-story of Jesus are redirected to the miracle of his death. Christianity has focused on the more miraculous aspect, and it has been the vividness of that story that has continued to bring new believers into the kingdom. One wonders how many more people would be attracted to, and be inspired by, the teachings of Jesus, which sometimes gets lost in the miracle of his divinity.
Jesus himself tried to refrain from the use of miracles to win souls to the kingdom, instead, wanting his appeal to be about service, and the love of the Father, to win souls.
The resurrection surely proves we all have bright futures if we only have faith, but there are great lessons to be learned from examining the life of Jesus.
It is the hope of this author that an emphasis on the Life and Teachings of Jesus will be more fully presented and studied in the ages to come, and with less emphasis on the atonement aspect of Jesus death.
Perhaps this is why the Revelators thought it wise to present the entire story at this time and in this age, as we transition from the Age of Miracles to the Age of Reason.
The real miracle of Jesus wasn’t that he rose from the dead. He had already foretold of that event. No, the real miracle, if you think about it, is that the highest representation of Deity, lived life as a mortal being.
This week we celebrate the lead up to Easter. It was the last week of Jesus’s life on earth, and it deserves contemplation. The story is still relevant. A man who preached the Good News is a shock to the Jewish system of Religious law. The people love him, then they turn on him, and alas, Jesus is tried and convicted, and then the resurrection, mission complete.
Backed up against the superficial and vacuous list of superhero’s we have on the silver screen, it was encouraging for me this past weekend to see so many people show up to see the new Christian film St. Paul the Apostle. For a movie that saw little mainstream promotion, it is clear to me that people are hungry for biblical stories because they contain so much heroism, reflection and conviction, qualities sorely lacking from movies like Dark Water, Pacific Rim or the latest blockbuster Black Panther.
Real heroes inspire, and this is a great week to be inspired. So this week on my radio station LISTEN HERE we are airing/streaming the UB Narrative of the final week of Jesus’ life on earth (UB Papers 190 to 194). In full and rich detail, you can hear the day-by-day account of the Masters’ final week on earth and those who came into contact with him.
Please share the link with others, tweet about it, post it, give the story away to people you think need to hear the good news. People are hungry.