Always love the festivals and what took place in them, and thinking as to how faithful we are to what was initiated in them. Pentecost has just taken place and this year I have focused on the post-Pentecost comments:
Fellow Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know—this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up… (Acts 2:22-24).
This Jesus God raised up (Acts 2:32).
Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” (Acts 3:36).
The little words such as ‘this’ Jesus has impacted me. What ‘Jesuses’ were not raised up? Quite pertinent as we all have a Jesus in part of our own making. The religious Jesus, the angry Jesus, the Jesus who looks like me…Those ones were not raised up!! Only Jesus of Nazareth, ‘this’ Jesus.
There has been a debate as to the difference of the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith, and the debate has been at an academic level… but in reality it should be at our level. I believe in Jesus (the Jesus the Christ of my faith… the Jesus of my making) but is the Jesus that I believe in the Jesus that was raised, the one that is identified as ‘this’ Jesus?
The other side of Pentecost there are some that we name Jesus that will increasingly be found to be in the grave. Time to go seek and find the Jesus that God raised… the one who does not look like Martin, and if I can truly leave all the others behind in the grave and can find the Jesus that God raised then I will find that Martin (unbelievably) begins to look a little like him. I will find him through being offended, in measure shocked… but oh what a release.