Write me a message in the sky
The search has been a heated one this week. Many, many good thoughts being considered from all sides with no end in sight. One particular thought that I'd like to spend a little more time on is the question below posed by Matt Murrell.
Matt says: Given the importance of accepting Jesus, and living a life modeled on God, why carry out the resurrection in a way that seems deliberately designed to sow doubt? Why not have Jesus appear to more people? Why no grand dramatic signs that, why not conclusively proving the truth of the event, would at least give more people pause for thought?
It's certainly a good question. Much hangs on the answer. If the answer is that any person who wishes to live eternally with God must first hear the name Jesus, understand perfectly who He was and why He came then pray the sinner's prayer, that by default leaves vast swaths of humanity beyond hope since they just happened to be born in the wrong place. What of those who hear some kind of gospel presentation but it is given in an offensive manor? What of those who are raised in a 'Christian' home but are abused by it's application?
This situation comes down to two questions: What does God want of us, and how does He go about getting the desired response?
What God wants from us is a relationship. He want's us to trust Him. Like I've stated elsewhere God is love and love gives. Love seeks to delight in others. The more you feel love the more it overflows into the world around you. Since part of the very nature of love is giving, or 'overflow', is it any wonder that He creates other personal beings such as ourselves and the angels?
Also stated earlier, is the fact that love must be chosen for it to remain love.
Is it possible that though God's love was always obvious from the start, we as a human organism have often chose to reject that love causing a general culture of rejection? Because each us has to live with the consequences of the choices that were made by those that came before us (a very different concept than inherited sin), we now live in a culture that is increasingly hostile to the idea of God. It is the sum total of humanity's free choices that leave us in the cultural situation we are now in.
So where does that leave us? Could God not simply slash through our culture from time to time with an absolutely certain message for each person on earth? Then again, what's to say that He needs to? He knows each of us better than we know ourselves. He knows exactly what is needed to give each of us enough information to either respond to Him or reject Him.
I was somewhat joking with Matt earlier when I said that "your not dead yet", in response to a similar question as the one in this post. God knows the story of our life from start to finish, or in the openness view, He knows every possible story of our life as if it was a certainty. He knows the core of us. He knows our spirit. He doesn't just see the choices we make, He knows the 'why's' behind them. He knows where we are coming from and He knows what we are looking for.
In the same way I don't want to 'shock and awe' my son into a relationship with me, neither does God. But the protest can then be made, "but you are actually WITH your son! Where is God that we are to see Him?"
My response may seem quite weak to the seasoned atheist, but it's my answer none the less.
He's everywhere. You just need to be willing to see Him.
Having a little son has given me a glimpse of God's love that I had previously never known. Watching the tenderness between mother and child fills me with a warmth that defies description. Is it possible that God would be less than this love? I see Him by living with Him. I believe that offer is open to any of us. We just need to be willing to take the first step.
Megan would surly give her life to save our son. Is it possible that God's love would he be less than that? If Jesus's life is any indication, He will break down the doors of hell itself to rescue any who seeks Him. Anything less would make him unworthy of the worship we are called to give.