i’ve been doing some extra-curricular writing these days, this is something I wrote a few weeks ago and thought i would share…

About two thousand years ago this bizarre Jewish teacher named Jesus walked the earth, told some confusing stories, did some unbelievable miracles and then proceeded to get himself killed. On purpose nonetheless. After his death, His followers made the audacious claim he rose from the dead. At first look, he, along with his followers, could probably be written off as a bunch of lunatics. By the world standards, perhaps this was true.

But, what if this guy Jesus, who at one point made the claim that he came to give us life was on to something? Now, he wasn’t talking about life like we tend to think of it. You know, the continuous breathing in and out and a heart that beats about 85 years or so. He was claiming something bigger. He was teaching of full, abundant life. Life that had meaning, purpose and hope. What if he really was onto something? What if he really was something special? What if he really did rise from the dead? What if He really is part of the key to unlocking the mystery of the meaning of life?

What if? That is all I am asking. What if?

Now, please know that I am not talking about some rules based religion or a bunch of do’s and do not’s or even going to church every Sunday morning where you feel like you need to be happy all the time. I am not even talking about getting your ticket to heaven so you don’t have to go to hell and spend eternity with really bad people after you die. I am not talking about unlocking the four spiritual laws of the universe. Its all too easy to reduce Jesus to way out of the bad place, way to get our sins forgiven and a way to happy, smile filled life. I am not trying to belittle these views of Jesus. It is just that I think they are somewhat incomplete. I know many people who see Jesus mainly in one of these ways. I know people who see Jesus primarily in one of these ways and they are still searching for something more. Perhaps they can answer the question, “What’s this life for” in an academic sense. But it still is a little unclear of what they are living for? Of course, that may not be you so you might not need to continue reading. But, perhaps it is. Perhaps even though you “believe in Jesus” the water is still muddy. Perhaps, even though you have sat in a church your whole life and have your head filled with stories about guys being eaten by whales, people throwing stones at giants with slingshots and people walking on water you still don’t quite know what you are living for.

Perhaps what we need is a not more church services, self-help books, easy to understand doctrines and Bible stories. Perhaps what we need is a real life encounter with Jesus. Perhaps He will give us something to live for. Something beyond fancy cars, big houses, retirements in Florida and tickets to heaven away from all the bad people. Perhaps, just perhaps His life not only gives us hope for the future but something to live for today beyond being a good person, putting money in the offering plate and helping old ladies cross the street.

I don’t want to sound like I have it all figured out. I am simply suggesting that if this carpenter guy really was the Son of God and He really did rise from the dead like He said He was going to, like his followers claimed, than it might be a pretty good idea to at least see what the guy was really talking about. See if what He has to say about life, death and hope help us answer our questions. And, perhaps following this guy would be more fulfilling than following the people who, despite their best intentions, tend not to be the answer to our questions about life.