Monday, March 12, 2007

Jesus' bones

Found this article today, which was also in the Age in the Faith section, raised some interesting questions for me, which I was talking about yesterday with mates, about Jesus forgiving people before he died on the cross and that.

Was also thinking about this Jesus' bones thing. I don't know that even if they did actually find them it would call into question the entire Christian faith, for a couple of reasons, mainly because they could just be his bones from when he grew old and died. Of course, the Bible says that he was whisked up and away into the heavens, but if they did find bones maybe they were from his old age, not necessarily from dying after the cross. I don't reckon they are his bones, but that is just another interesting possibility.

The other question which i sometimes toss around is would the Christian faith exist if Jesus hadn't come back to life? Cos Jesus did have followers before he died, but would they have just gone back to being good little Jews after he died or carried it on? Of course if this didn't happen it would also call into qustion the legitimacy of a whole bunch of other stuff, but its an interesting hypothetical.

SO, THE bones of Jesus may have been found. A friend of mine joked that
now we can find Jesus DNA and clone him. The world could do with a few
more saviours just now.

I've long suspected that I've missed the point of Jesus' life, but it seems to me
that the redemption, grace and hope he made real aren't at all dependent on
the resurrection.

It's immediately obvious when one reads the Gospels. For example, one day
Jesus came across a group of religious leaders who were about to stone a
woman caught committing adultery. They couldn't see past her actions. Jesus
couldn't see past her worth as a human being. Jesus thought every life was
worth saving. He confronted the men and they backed down. This woman's
salvation didn't depend on the resurrection.

There's another story about Zacchaeus, who had made his wealth by working
corruptly in a despised job. He was ridiculed and hated. Jesus called
Zacchaeus by name, and chose his company over that of others who would
have been clamouring for it. This offer of friendship, without strings attached
was enough to make Zacchaeus begin living differently. He didn't
need a resurrection to have his life transformed.

Then there's the story of a woman who we know only by her sinful reputation.
Seeing Jesus' exhaustion and stress, she washed his feet with ointment and
her tears. The men around Jesus were harsh in their condemnation. They
feared she might be diminishing their morality just through her presence.
Jesus received her gift as pure love _ he knew she needed to give it as much
as he needed to receive it. She didn't need a resurrection to encounter
grace.

I recently spent a couple of hours at Port Phillip Prison listening to a group of
men talking about their faith, trying to uncover together what it is that restores
hope. The men were pretty sceptical about most of the “facts'' of faith - the
stuff people assume the Christian faith depends on. They didn't care about
the virgin birth or resurrection. But when it came to Jesus' life the words
tumbled out. He healed the lepers, he was friends with those who had no
other friends. He noticed the people society ignored. He spoke of peace and
justice. He saw the best in people. He loved. For these men in prison, and for
many of us not in prison, thinking these things,daring to believe they might be
true, having the courage to think that someone - that God - would think they
were worth investing friendship in, that they were worth a second chance,
takes much more faith than believing in a resurrection.
Cheryl Lawrie works with an alternative worship
project for the Uniting Church

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think this passage in Rom 3:25-26 may be relevant. or is it talking before Jesus time? not sure
"For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus."