I love that I’m not the only one befuddled with what to do with Jesus. Pilate uttered the words that we all have had to grapple with ever since, “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Because, let’s just be honest with ourselves for five minutes here. Jesus is hard. He doesn’t neatly fit into any boxes. Nor do we have any real clue what to do with him. He causes trouble for Jews, for Muslims, and at a real fundamental level, Christians.
We’ve watered down his message to sound very zen, very Buddhist. All about peace, and love, and jelly beans and puppy dogs. But Jesus himself declared that wasn’t his intention… “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. […] They will be divided, father against son and son against father.”
So much for karma.
Then there’s atheism, and its closely related cousin which is lovably non-commital, agnosticism. Even if you don’t believe one word of the Gospels, you still have to do something, anything, with the cultural force and icon that has transcended thousands of generations and hundreds of opposing cultures.
Something must be done about Jesus.
Jesus is not just the story of a couple of interesting anecdotes about a Jewish carpenter that lived a few thousand years ago. No person in all of human history has been more revered, or more reviled than Jesus of Nazareth.
Personally, I don’t think that’s an accident. All of human history, all of it!, has been arranged to bring about Jesus and to tell his story. The ink on the pages of the Bible may be dry, but one day, we will look back on our lives and we will realize that we were given the gift to be a very small part of the beautiful story He is weaving in all of human history.
In light of that, Jesus’ demand that we forsake everything else and follow him doesn’t seem that unreasonable.