The entire story of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ centers around his sense of compassion, and his radical way of living and seeing the world. There’s absolutely no way around it, Jesus lived his life challenging the unjust, oppressive government. He questioned greed, engaged those who society deemed unapproachable, he healed the sick and spoke about obtaining God’s peace. As Christians, we can propose and debate any theological concept our little heart’s desire, but truth be told, Jesus is not what we’ve made him out to be.
The story goes that Jesus died at the hands of a society consumed with themselves - they wanted power, they wanted status, they wanted assurance of life after death, they wanted a sense of security that they would be okay, they wanted… everything for themselves. But, along came Jesus Christ. He was born in a stable to a couple without much social status. And when he was old enough to teach, he taught at the temple; he taught everything that went against the people’s doctrine. Jesus wasn’t the pomp and circumstance everyone dreamed about, he didn’t come waltzing in to make life easier. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Jesus rode through the center of town on a lowly donkey, there were no knights, no drums, no fanfare. But the people persisted. They clung to their own hopes of a man-made king, they cut branches and threw their coats on the ground to welcome their savior. Again, their focus was what made them feel good; when in reality, the man they hailed as their Messiah had a very different idea about what “feeling good” entailed.
By human nature, we tend to think that what is good is tangible assurance of our own well-being, and we’ll do just about anything to obtain it. For some, it’s physical - we crave intimacy with others in order to settle our own securities. For others, it’s material - the more stuff we acquire, the better we feel. And still for others, it’s mental - if we believe certain things, all will be okay. But we’re fooling ourselves if we think that’s what we need in order to know God’s glory… because none of that is what Jesus is documented as promoting in any of the four gospels. What we gain from the life and ministry of Jesus, is that the greater good goes far beyond our own sense of security. If we want peace, if we want true life, if we want to live as God empowers us to live, we must embody the life Jesus lived before corruption and sin tried to snuff him out. In other words, we can be part of his crucifixion, or we can be part of his resurrection… it’s our decision.
The resurrection of Christ means that the way of Christ out lives and outshines any other attempt to gain goodness. What is good is the compassion, inclusion, advocacy and justice we find in the stories of Jesus’ life. Simply put, love always wins. So, how is Christ alive in you today?