Its Easter! Happy Easter to everyone!
I’m grateful to live in a country that publicly celebrates Easter. When I was younger and didn’t know or understand much about what this celebration intends to commemorate, I used to either go with the tide, or ignore the significance all together. Now, I am older, a little wiser, and more intentional about my choices. I have learned how this is probably the most important event to commemorate: The death and resurrection of my saviour Jesus Christ.
I was having a conversation with someone yesterday, really sweet person. Our conversation lead to me mentioning that I had been in church earlier that day for Good Friday service. She didn’t object but instead encouraged my belief in the “myth”, implying that if people decide to follow myths to help them live well, that’s okay. Now you know that did not sit well with me at all, but I did not push that topic further, because I did not feel equipped to steer that conversation toward a better course, not yet at least.
Some people truly believe that people choose some faith to help give their lives some definition, or to help them become better and do better, and that is true. People identify with different faiths for a plethora of reasons. This, to me, is unfortunate because that is unnecessary bondage, in my opinion. I am a firm believer in conviction. I think we, as people, have to be committed to whatever paths we choose. I believe that it is our responsibility to take actions with an understanding of the implications of those actions.
It is very hard for me to have christian history conversations with scholars because I am not a bible scholar. They probably know more about the history of the church than I do. I try to catch up, but lets face it, that is a futile pursuit and frankly I am not devoted to that journey. Why? Because I am convinced that outsmarting them is not motive enough. When I do talk to intelligent people who do not accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, I get one of three “vibes” from them: it is either they know enough about the gospel and reject it anyways, they don’t know about the gospel and are not interested in finding out, or, my personal favourite, in their search for knowledge they came upon the gospel and they are wrestling with what that means for them.
You see, I understand the need to have to rationalize everything. One thing I always have to remind people of whenever I have faith conversations with them is that I did not grow up in a home surrounded by believers. I grew up in a family of people who had questions, who were trying to understand life and God the best way they knew how, and that of course led me to ask questions of my own. I used to not understand why everything wasn’t laid out for me as a child, why I didn’t just have one truth given to me to accept and conform to. I would have liked that. But now I see that one of the best gifts God gave me is a family that didn’t have it quite figured out. You know why? Because it made me curious to search out the truth I knew was calling out to me.
Through a series of events that I hope to fully explain in the near future, I came upon the gospel according to John from the bible and my life was radically transformed in a matter of months. It was not that I had never seen or read a bible before, it was that this time, I was looking for answers, looking for truth.
I found Him, I found truth, the truth we celebrate today; that this man, this God, Jesus, son of David, son of God, sun of righteousness, left His throne on high, came to earth, lived a perfect life, was tempted in every way that I am, didn’t yield, succumbed to a horrible death he did not deserve, waged war against hell, and returned on the third day with great victory, my ransom paid, my freedom gained, none of which I could have even thought about asking for. The day the weight of the preceding sentence hit me, that was the day my life’s trajectory was altered forever.
Now I live everyday trying to unpack just what that means in my life. Jesus’ love literally gave me the life I have now, in every sense of the word. Every time I remember that truth, I weep. My heart hurts and rejoices at the same time. I am overwhelmed by the depth and intensity of such love, and sometimes perplexed as to what I did to deserve it.
I titled this blog post “Bride: not oppressor, not victim” on purpose. It may seem like I digressed a little, but I needed you to understand why I write what I am about to write. The church has morphed and transformed in recent centuries. She has done a lot of wrong, and a lot of right. She has conquered, failed, risen, fell, risen again. She has been an oppressor, and oh she has been oppressed. She is not perfect.
Whenever I talk to people who have animosity towards christianity, I now understand that it is because they just don’t get it. You see, when you take your eyes off the logos, the religion, the idea, your opinion, and get out of your own head; once you look to the cross and see just what the Lord Jesus did for you, and you catch a glimpse of how He sees you, I promise, all these things won’t matter anymore. Why? because there is no turning back for the bride when she beholds her true groom. There is no turning back for the heart who has seen the cross.
So on Easter Sunday, here’s my challenge to you, hear Jesus out. Hear what He has to say. The journey is not a straightforward one but you’ll know it is the right one. I promise, you’ll know.