There was once a time when the world knew not of its Savior. Yet there was hope because it had been foretold that a child would be born and called Emmanuel – God is with us. In Lent, we prepare for his coming anew. During this season, we discover for ourselves the call of salvation and the promise of eternal life.
The trial was not going well. They had been after him for a long while, but as of yet they had no lawful basis for charges against him.
They were offended when he asserted that he was the answer to the prophecy in the Scriptures and they chased him out of his hometown. Then he dared to heal the sick on the day of reverence. Why would he not do the work God called him to do, he told them? Later, he told them that he existed even before their ancient ancestors ever were. For that they wanted to stone him, but he escaped into the night. Now, they had him under arrest. So they brought witnesses to give testimony against him, but the witnesses could not offer evidence that this man was guilty of anything. In frustration, the high priest conducting the trial openly challenged him as if daring the captive: “Are you the Christ? The Son of the Blessed?”
Until then, Jesus had refused to answer their questions. He would not be complicit in their persecution. But now, as the time of his divine fulfillment neared, he chose to respond. To the question raised, “are you the Christ?” Jesus answered:
“I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:62)
They were astounded at this claim. Immediately, the high priest alleged a crime they could charge and convict Jesus of. He barked: “What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy!”
Blasphemy—contempt of what is sacred. That was their charge. The high priest and the others in authority quickly condemned him to death for blasphemy. They marched him to the Governor, Pontius Pilate, for final sentencing: Jesus would be crucified.
Why blasphemy? Because Jesus said he would rise in heaven and sit at the right hand of God. He would be resurrected from death to glorious life in God’s kingdom. And not only Jesus, but all of us who believe in Jesus as the Son of God.
The blasphemy of the resurrection is why Jesus was put to death. Yet the resurrection is the revelation of the truth that brought Jesus to the world. The resurrection is the fulfillment of Christian belief. The resurrection is the birth of eternal life.
Here is where the faith is fought: for some, the resurrection is blasphemy and an affront to the intellect. They look at Jesus and ask cynically and derisively: “Are you the Christ?”
For others, as for me, the resurrection is the ultimate truth and everlasting salvation. We see Jesus, hear his voice, and believe in his answer:
The resurrection is the foundation of our faith. Blasphemy is in not believing its so.
These Gospel stories are re-imagined in the book series:
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