Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A relic?

From time to time in Christian history there have been those who claim to have different relics associated with Jesus. Collectors have gathered together items like the Shroud of Turin, the alleged crown of thorns worn at Christ’s crucifixion, or have found the crypt, used to hold our Lord’s broken body. 
Emperor Constantine’s mother first claimed to have found the true Cross of Jesus more than 1700 years ago. Since then, so many claim to have fragments that if they were all put together they would make an enormous cross! If it could be proved that someone had found an authentic relic of Jesus, people would line up for miles to see or touch it. But to what purpose? 

Obviously, many believers want to experience something real that is associated with Jesus. Those who seek Jesus have a real faith, a real desire, real conviction and they want to prove that Jesus is real.

But when we begin to doubt the reality of Jesus, relics are not the answer. Taking time to read the gospels again tells us His story. He was born poor and lived in poverty all His life. His friends were from the lowest castes of society. He experienced all there is in this human life. No one writing propaganda would ever reveal a character so real, so human, so earthy. He understands, because he has been there himself. And he is still here.

For anyone who has ever felt the sting of rejection, the heart-break of disloyalty, the tears of shame and humiliation, for anyone who bears their own disgrace and failure, Jesus says, “I understand. I am with you. You can trust me; you can cast your cares upon me, because I have been there myself.”

“By sending Jesus as a man," Clarence Jordan says, "God is refusing to take humanity’s ‘no’ for an answer, and places Jesus in the here and now – in the midst of this life.” And that is more real and more holy than all the relics in the world.

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