Know, therefore, with certainty . . . that God made him Lord and Christ – this Jesus whom you crucified.
When my daughter, Krista, was two, she brought her toy doll into the living room and asked her older sister, Erika, is she would like to hold her baby.
Erika played along. She gently cradled the doll in her arms and cooed “baby talk” to it. After a few moments of this, Erika – ever the diplomat – exclaimed, “Oh no! She’s crying! I think she needs her mommy. You better take her back.”
Uncertain that Erika comprehended the situation, little Krista leaned in close, and, with a low voice, so the baby wouldn’t hear, whispered, “She’s fake,”
As children mature, their world keeps getting fuzzy. Is a doll real or fake? The same goes for Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.
My friends, Paul and Karen, raised their kids out west. When they drove back to Paul’s hometown, he kept telling them, “Kids, when we get close to Grandmas, you’re going to see a sign on the highway in front of town.” The billboard said:
WELCOME TO MITCHELL, SOUTH DAKOTA
BIRTHPLACE OF THE FAMOUS PAUL MAURER
His kids didn’t believe him.
As they drew close to Mitchell, however, Paul’s kids focused on every sign and asked their dad where his billboard was. “Oh, it’s coming up soon,” he would say.
Paul kept glancing into the rear-view mirror until they finally lost interest in looking at billboards and dropped their heads. Just before they passed a sign he yelled, “Look! There it is! There’s my sign!”
The kids’ heads shot up and they shouted, “Where?”
“Right there! We just passed it!”
“Can we go back and see it?”
“Nah,” Paul said, “We’ll catch it on the way back home.”
Paul’s kids were caught in that grey world of doubt. They were, rightly, skeptical. But they wanted to believe their dad’s tall tale was true.
As adults, we wander into that same fuzzy world of doubt. Is all this Bible stuff about Jesus really true . . . or do I just want it to be true?
Here is where the Bible breathes an air of authenticity. On the day of Pentecost, Peter points out to the skeptics the miracles which Jesus did, “in your midst, as you yourselves know.” He continues with a couple of prophecies from the Psalms which predicted Jesus’ resurrection and ascension as Christ. Peter testified he has seen Jesus raised from the dead, “Of which we are all witnesses.”
No. The Bible does not treat Jesus as a fairy tale. God has broken into the world he created, and we must deal with it.
(text copyright 2011 by Marty Kaarre)