When I put my son to bed we generally read his bible together. Just recently we got to the bit where Judas hung himself. Um. I felt a bit weird reading this to a 7 year old and if I’m honest I skipped words and a couple of verses. Have a read of that bit – it’s full on. There’s remorse, tears, treachery, death and other gory bits. Not exactly fluffy clouds and angels before bed. The bible is much more realistic than irreligious people think.
I was listening to a podcast where the speaker claimed that a 10 year old Christian child had the physiological framework to cope with the tragedies of life more so than an adult atheist. Interesting claim. We live in such a sanitised culture. We work hard to remove suffering from our sight – as we should. However, every so often we are reminded this world can be brutal. If you’ve ever been to a third world country you know what’s it like to have this sterilised mirage shattered – some people call this culture shock.
Behind the nice church buildings, smiling faces, kids church, youth groups and Christmas carols is the story of the murder of an innocent man. One who loved, thought and lived like no one else. It’s a story of grave injustice, betrayal, defeat, abandonment and death. A tragedy really.
However, that’s only half the story. The other half is more sensational. It’s the part where this man transcended death, suffering and everything we feared. Now he offers us this victorious perspective in whatever we face.
The crux of the Christian faith encapsulates all the extremes of human experience. Is Jesus relevant? I’d suggest that there isn’t a culture, age or stage of life where the death and resurrection of Jesus doesn’t bring peace and freedom. The Christian story is not a feel good fable – it’s the essence of life. It’s painful, joyful, dangerous and exciting.
This Easter, no matter how bad things may be (or how amazing) I welcome you to celebrate the life of Jesus. Our churches are open to welcome you whatever your story, wherever you’re at. Join us!