YouTube burned in holy fire last week with debate over a phenomenal vid by Jeff Bethke that begs this intriguing question: What if Jesus came to abolish religion?
Getting nearly 22.5 million hits it looks like quite a few people were intrigued by Bethke’s idea.
The Middle East burns in religious rage, holy men like the Dalai Lama discuss mankind moving beyond religion, Pope Benedict seeks reconciliation between Christians and Muslims; all manner of philosophy/spirituality talk is coming to the fore.
God, Jesus, spirituality and religion are on our lips. However, besides the likes of folk like Jeff Bethke who have moral courage enough to ask us to seek answers about fundamentals, how many of us have questions about the Creator and the Creator’s will on our minds these days?
When was the last time we asked the big questions?
How many Christians wonder whether Christ always knew with absolute certainty who HE was or wonder how HIS spending a mere three days in Hell would make a difference to their salvation?
If Jewish, have you asked lately ‘what must I do do help the Messiah come?’
How many Muslims really think all that often about how Mohammed’s role as reconciler between the faiths should be understood amidst the heat of Islamic Terrorism while also considering the fears and doubts of Non-Muslims concerning a Muslim’s genuine motives and core beliefs.
Is God our first thought when we contemplate our faith? Do we instead hit ‘religion’ in our mental google search?
Sniperhunter2012 wonders what Christ would think of our troubles and posits a prayer:
[authors note: the following is presented as a hypothetical prayer of Jesus Christ upon His Second Coming]
Father, I’ve tried. How hard I’ve tried to convince, to show love, to guide. How much pain can one man take, Father; how much suffering can a man endure in your name before he falls down in his struggle to serve your will? I’m one man, Father, as weak as the next, and I need guidance, just as all your children do. Surely it is that much harder for them.
See how they struggle, Father? How weak, how arrogant, how troubled and lost; as lost as I was before. As lost as I’ve been in my work to bring them home to you during my time here. Father, how sorry I am that I doubted. I’m sorry for all that doubt I felt when I gave up my spirit at the end. Though I had Knowledge of you which they do not and can not have, at the end for that moment even I lost my knowledge and my faith. Surely the struggle they face is that much more.
Separated from your Spirit I was, after all, just human – like them. I understand – and I felt then – the Call of sin and the pride of ignorance. Thank you for letting me forget for that painful moment. I could not have bared knowing what was to come.
They, however, have no way of knowing what we know – no way to know how distant they truly are from you and from your Will for them. We know the distance they only guess at in their attempts to understand.
We’ve felt the suffering of the Separation.
No matter what pain they feel, no matter how confused, lost, or worried they believe themselves to be, they can not understand the loss We endured to bring them back.
I spent so much time away from you after our sacrifice for them. Though it is wonderful, Father, to return after where I’ve been and after what I’ve learned from That Place, I cannot help but believe I could do more.
Are they ready, Father? Have I done all I can to bring as many to you as are willing? Have those who are lost been given enough to know and decide? Is it time for them to know the rest? Is it time for them to be shown what we did for them…to know all that we did, all that we felt, And all that we will do?
I will not – of course I cannot – stop what must happen next, but I fear for them. The pain and suffering that the Lost will feel – and the eternity of loss felt by the Saved in the moment they learn what their Lost loved ones will know – is great. Your love and Grace will bring the Saved through that painful moment, I know – but oh, that Knowledge – the power of the guilt, the sorrow, the shame of it.
Father, I pray for the Lost and for the Found.
I pray they understand and will find some kind of forgiveness in themselves after what they will learn before I must return to bring them through.
Father, thank you for what you did – what you had me do – to bring them back to you. When they come home they will know all that they left behind in Me. Thank you, Father, for bringing them back through my time in That Place. They will not have to endure the Separation as we did.
Your Glory revealed in the eternities we spent there will shine before them as those human symbols of the Sacrifice they’ve created for themselves never could. Those symbols, crude though they are, and painful as they were for me, are so powerful they are not ready to contemplate the rest.
People can understand pain – the pain of torture and death. They can grasp one Man giving his life in exchange for another.
How much more they will love one another and themselves when they see the Truth of what We carried into the Pit.
We felt the eternity of Separation that each of them would have endured were it not for your Grace. We felt the guilt, the shame, the pain of sin’s Separation – for the eternities of human time we spent in That Place for each of them. We felt the torture and pain of The Cross each of them would have endured had they not come back to You. We saw through their eyes … and we remember.
They think that I was there for three days. If only they knew. Three days for my disciples. So much, so much longer for us.
If the choices they will no doubt make can be prevented, I ask that you guide as many as you will to do so. The shame of it is great – the Pain of silence so much to bare – but your knowledge of what is necessary is greater than mine. If it must be done, may it happen quickly.
- The Name of Jesus (samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com)
- On the eve of a new year… (hunternash.wordpress.com)
- Pray for us sinners….. (hunternash.wordpress.com)