Today is Easter Sunday, probably the most significant day in the Christian calendar. Friday saw us remember the death of Jesus Christ, an event which only has significance because 3 days later he rose from the grave. Unlike Lazarus though, his resurrection took place to ensure salvation for all those who would follow him by redeeming them of their sins.
I have been pondering on what I think about Jesus and this year rather than confident self assured cliches (which are only so cliche because they are simple, catchy and poetic ways to describe something so very vast) I find a sort of uncertainty. I don’t like the word uncertainty, I’m not sure it’s the right word, but for now it will have to do. I will explain what I mean.
Many things have been said about Jesus and about what kind of person he was. He was loving, he was a healer, a teacher and cared deeply for the poor. All of these are true, but only when taken together. To say Jesus loved the poor without mentioning the rest ignores the fact that he did other things. He spent a lot of time speaking in the synagogue ignoring the beggars outside and as Judas rightly said, the perfume which Mary poured on His feet could well have been sold to raise money for the poor.
Please, don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that Jesus didn’t care for the poor or that Judas was right. Heaven forbid that I should be one to tell Jesus what to do.
What I am saying is that all our minds have filters and interpret these things differently. There are certain aspects I identify quite strongly with, those things which are on my heart too. These can, if I’m not careful, colour my understanding of the other parts of His nature and lead to a skewed view.
The scary realisation I have come to, which is remarkably simple, is that Jesus was a person. Like any of us, he was not just one thing, but he was a complicated mix of feelings, personality, timing and genetics. Like, for example, your mum, he is not easy to sum up but someone that you only understand by getting to know them. Simply put, Jesus is far more than the adjectives which describe Him and to try to understand Him by learning these adjectives is lunacy.
For example, Jesus is loving. This I believe is true, but what does it actually mean? Euthanasia, vengeance killings and allowing someone to do whatever they want can all be defined as loving depending on how you personally define it. Surely if He is my God, shouldn’t I be changing my definition of loving to fit Him?
I think the thing I’ve learnt this Easter is that the Jesus in my head is purely that, an idea in my mind. It must be held loosely, else the gaps, mistakes and misgivings I’ve inevitably made will block out the truth.
The real deal is out there though and like any other person, the only way I am going to get to know them is by spending time together. Hearing other people’s stories of Him are all well and good, but it’s no substitute for meeting face to face. How blessed am I that this is possible? Praise God!!