Reasonably Extraordinary

  • His story has a very specific historical context and His followers were intent on making His historicity clear.
  • He wasn’t the only one claiming to be the messiah. His claims were not unique, but the actions and fulfillment of explicit ancient prophecy that came with those claims set Him apart.
  • His story has endured over 2000 years of attacks from within and without and has remained in tact and exactly as it was first written.
  • He attacked the established cultural leadership. He did not “get with the program”. It cost Him His life. That wasn’t his primary mission, though. Confrontation happens when God abides with sinners.
  • His followers had nothing to gain in this life by following and, in fact, pretty much lost everything.
  • His early followers stretched across the cultural, economic, and political landscape. Changed lives were all that united them and that was enough.
  • His message can be understood by a 4 year old or a 94 year old in much the same way. No education level, cultural background or personality disposition is needed to make sense of the message.
  • Unlike nearly all other major religious leaders, He has no grave site for His followers to gather around and mourn His passing.
  • People don’t get up and walk away from a Roman crucifixion. After three days in the ground, He did.
  • His teachings were specific and not simply platitudes.

This world is loaded with myth and legend and mysticism built around controlling people, holding power and serving up a salve for the self-righteous soul. There is plenty to criticize (and rightfully so) in the history of those claiming to follow Christ. Confusing the truth of the message with its messenger is a common misconception in many areas of life. But take a moment today to ask yourself why a man from the armpit of the Roman empire is venerated globally around this time of year (and every day, for that matter) just for making claims and being crucified like a common criminal. It is extraordinary in the truest sense of that term.

Got questions? Want a run-down of my sources for the above? Want to disagree vehemently? I’m game: let’s talk.

“I lay down my life — only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” – Jesus (John 10:17-18)

 

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