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The Gift That Keeps On Giving: Jesus the Christ
In Defense of the Faith
Thursday, March 24, 2016
J.L. Robb

Remember when the WWJD bracelets were such a fad? Christian book stores could not keep enough in stock, and some of the big-box stores even jumped on the bandwagon. 

That was then; this is now: Americans Skeptical Of God But Think Heaven Is Real, Somehow

The headline from vocative.com is pretty fantastical and sadly, true.

Think about this new Millennials philosophy. No God. No Rules. Just Heaven. They don’t like His rules but love His home. Based on the poor programming this group has received from parents, schools and media, narcissisimania prevails. Life is special.

So we have a new religion, the religion of the Church of Narcissism, all play and no work, no sins… just Heaven.

In 1960, about 99% of Americans polled claimed to believe in God; and about 97% were Christian. The religious makeup in 1960 was almost totally Judeo-Christian. Heaven was for real then too but required a little effort.

No more. So many seem to think they somehow deserve a new BMW and $100,000 a year… and of course, a safe zone where no one can hurt their feelings. Of course, we can’t totally blame the Millennials. This bad programming started long ago, a generation ago, about the time that John F. Kennedy was killed and God was kicked out of school.

What would Jesus do about this revision?

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

The belief that there is a Heaven offering eternal bliss and comfort to anyone and everyone is ludicrous. What would be the reason? Even Jesus’ willingness to forgive a multitude of sins does not make the above quote fictitious. Only a few find it.

Two thousand years ago, the people of Israel pined for the long-predicted Messiah’s arrival. They were sick of the Roman occupation, and a savior for the Jews was certain to come. It had been foretold by Zechariah five hundred years earlier, and the prophets never lied.

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9 NIV

The Israelites (Judahites) were sick of occupation and war, something that had been going on since Nebuchadnezzar. The history of the Hebrew people to that point in time had been one of strife, suffering and constant war with the Hittites, Canaanites and other ites, modern day Arab Muslims. 

Around 520 BC, Zechariah continued the prophecies, telling the Jewish people that God was sending them a savior, the Messiah. He would be a king and great leader and would lead them out of their oppression if they would accept his Messiahship.

Somehow they missed the part of Zechariah’s prophecy that said their king would not be riding a big, white horse but instead, a lowly donkey, less than a year old and never ridden before.

How did Zechariah know that would happen? It was 500 years before Jesus came along and made it happen.

“Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’" Luke 19:30-31 NIV

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, the day Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a donkey colt is celebrated by more than 2,000,000,000 people, a third of the world’s population. One Man.
One donkey. One cross.

Jesus was not what the Jews of the day were expecting. They figured the Messiah would be big, and strong and kingly, riding a white horse; not a lowly donkey. Jesus was the opposite of expectations.

His message, or one of the many messages, was that if we want to get along with each other instead of warring, and killing and raping and robbing, we would have to love each other as we love ourselves. That requirement was right below loving God with all your heart. Love God; love one another.

Seems so simple.

Yesterday, 134 innocent victims of man’s hating one another instead of loving, occurred in Belgium. It was perpetrated on the innocent by a religious philosophy that was foretold in the Book of Genesis where the descendants of Abraham’s illegitimate child would become a great people but would hate everyone else- including their own brothers. How did Moses know to write that?

Arab Muslims to this day still kill each other ruthlessly, as described daily in news sources around the world.

I pray for these victims, and the prayers are coming daily. Large memorials of flowers, stuffed animals and toys seem to be sprouting up all over Europe and the USA.

Jesus did not have to die on the cross. He had the power to come down or to have never been hammered to the cross in the first place. He had the power to wipe out his assassins and those who called for his murder. He had the power to come riding into Jerusalem triumphant and arrogant like most kings on a shiny, white horse.

But he did not.  I say a prayer of thanks every day for that.

This Sunday we celebrate the greatest of all miracles, the proof that there really is a life after death. Proof that this 100-year opportunity called life is tiny compared to the opportunity of foreverness. 

When Jesus was beaten nearly to death, had a thorny crown smashed into his head, then nailed to a wooden cross and pierced in the side to see if he was really dead, he did not come down from the cross and take care of business like I would’ve wanted to.

He looked at us with sorrow, not derision. He looked at us with pity, not disgust. He loved and forgave; he did not hate and hold grudges.

Though Jesus did not hold grudges, those who killed him and demanded he be killed paid a Huuugge price. The Roman Empire is no more, and Israel is finally back-just as prophesied.

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter and celebrates the miracle of miracles. Jesus was seen by hundreds of people when he rose from the dead, not twelve. Then he rose to Heaven, the home of the Father the Millenials don’t believe in.

What would Jesus do?

“… and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

About J.L. Robb

Last week: Genocide is Genocide

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