I was listening to a young man yesterday who expressed doubt about the resurrection of
Jesus; a common doubt. I personally don’t have any trouble with that one, or the multiplying the fish and bread, or the healings, or his free choice to die on the cross. They all follow if he is who he said he is.
If he is LIFE, it’s kind of amazing he could be killed at all, but once killed, there’s no way he could stay dead. If he is Life, of course people would be healed and fish and wheat will multiply-fish and wheat multiply and people are healed all the time; he just speeded up the process in those cases, as Life is perfectly capable of doing.
But if he is Life, if he is God, then coming to live in a human form, even for thirty-three years, just blows me away. We cannot begin to fathom what the Author of Life, the Creator of the Universe, would have to lay aside in order to do that. To limit himself, a bazillion times over, and walk about in human form with only muscle and sinew and five senses that only detect things in this one little planet. What did he give up to pull that off?
But the real question, then, is he who he said he is? Did he say he was God? Yes, he did-and isn’t that just the most shocking thing? Many people have admired Jesus as a great moral teacher, perhaps the greatest to ever live, while denying that he is God. I remember the first spiritual experience I ever had and it was about this very issue.
We were in “Religion” class at my all girl’s Catholic High School. I was terribly bored in Religion class and was goofing around and making my classmates laugh, as usual. I heard the teacher quote Jesus, who was in a heated argument with the Pharisees, “Before Abraham was, I am.” “Now that’s stupid” I thought, “That’s not even good English.” Then I realized what he actually said and a jolt of electricity went up my spine.
He’s not saying “I was before Abraham,” I realized, “He’s saying before Abraham was, I AM.” I am… outside of time, outside of natural limitations, outside of your preconceptions, and outside of your comprehension. I AM. Only God can make this claim and he had made it earlier when he told Moses, “Tell Pharaoh I AM sent you.” I AM. I just AM. I have always been, I will always be.
It was many years before I actually encountered him and he became the only thing about which I am absolutely certain. There is a God and he is good. He is not like our silly projections of him, and that’s all right. We are limited to three dimensions and a 24-hour day and what our senses can take in. He knows all this; he experienced these limitations in order to seek and to save that which was lost-his little children. His little children were lost and I believe the biggest sacrifice was to come down, down, down to our limitations in order to bring his little children home.
Lots of arguments arise from people who, like me, like to reason. If God was here on earth, who was running the rest of the universe? How can God die? Every argument reflects our previously mentioned earthbound three dimensions and 24-hour day. Why would God have to fit into our limited paradigms? If he did, I would find that a good reason to think we made it all up. But he doesn’t; there is mystery upon mystery and it will always be thus. He said we must come as little children if we hope to get in at all, and little children not only live with many mysteries, they also run to the people who love them. That’s why they get in so easily, and we rational ones struggle.