Don’t Take This for Granted

Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

1 Peter 1:10-12

We have a funny, little thing going in American Christianity. We preach this Gospel, and we proclaim an ancient person named Jesus. Yet, how many of us do so while considering the true value of the thing we proclaim?

Regardless of whether or not you even believe it to be true, think about what Paul, Peter, and a whole host of other witnesses said about Jesus of Nazareth during their lifetimes. Consider the weight of it for a moment. Peter and several other disciples were with Jesus for much of his earthly ministry, and they followed him relentlessly until he died. When he was arrested, tried, and found guilty, they scattered. Most assuredly, the disciples believed that the man they had placed all their hopes in and followed was about to be slaughtered. After he had died,  several of the disciples tried to quietly reinsert themselves into the humble lifestyles they lived before they had followed Jesus. Indeed, many of them probably wanted to forget that period of their lives as nothing more than an embarrassing episode in their youth where they followed some crazy teacher around Palestine.

Suddenly, though, something had changed. From the perspective of the other religious people in Jerusalem, they figured that they had squelched the Jesus movement, but now those who had been his disciples started proclaiming him again. Only this time, they were saying that he had been raised from the dead. Of course, the dead coming back to life was not a common occurrence, and the disciples would not shut up about it despite threats. The disciples believed with everything that they had that Jesus had been raised from the dead, and they believed it not only because of what they claimed to have seen him but also because of the way that their lives had been radically altered by this knowledge and faith.

In the above passage, Peter talks about this revelation of Christ and the change affected upon them by his Spirit as the pivotal event in human history. Not only did people before the time of Jesus ardently desire to understand the thing that they hoped for (and what person does not hope for something more than hopeless mundanity?), but Peter stated that even other-worldly beings seek to look into this message of Jesus Christ. Have a hard time taking that literally? That’s fine. At least find the time to take what Peter (and many others) said seriously. They believed that they had this amazing news that served as the pinnacle of human history that provided the purpose of human existence. Of course, the claim is a lofty one, but who has not felt a deep, inner longing for something like this to be true?

Maybe you believe it is unlikely that such a hunger could be satisfied, but if someone has offered you such an opportunity, do you not think it wise to at least investigate the claims in sincerity and with your own eyes? Perhaps you’ve written it off for this or that reason. It’s too narrow or others have made it seem like it doesn’t line up with your political ideology. Well, the truth is that the content of the message being proclaimed by Jesus and his disciples reaches far beyond the appearances of what most people dress Christianity up to be.

You are thirsty, and someone has offered you a drink. So, don’t take this for granted. You might just find that the water is alive.

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