“…in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
I once was a guest at a social gathering and found myself standing with a group of people who were discussing God. Opinions were all over the map. Some were agnostics – not sure. Others took the atheist route. Still others had vague notions of a god in nature or spirituality. The discussion was lively and friendly until someone asked me what I thought. ‘God is the One who raised Jesus from the dead’, was my reply. Suddenly things got quiet for a moment. Then the objections began. I have known other Christians who have had similar encounters.
Christian faith ceases to be Christian if Jesus drops out of the proclamation, the sharing of that faith. We do not witness to a generic god that can be molded and shape to fit our opinions – a god that is simply derived from our gray matter.
The Easter faith bears witness to the God who, through the cross and resurrection, has planted Himself in history. In Jesus we are reconciled to the person of God, not an idea about God.
The witness to the resurrectrion will always raise eyebrows and prompt objections. That is to be expected in a creature that is, by nature, hostile to it’s Creator. A the same time it is through this very same witness to the cross and resurrection of Jesus that God has chosen to create faith, to bring us to confess Jesus, to bring us – and hold us – in a living relationship. And when vague notions about God, or belief in no God at all, give way to this confession of Jesus as Lord, the power of the resurrection has done it’s work! Sinners are forgiven and set free and join the joyous chorus of confession, ‘God is the One who raised Jesus from the dead!
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”