Monday, December 3, 2012

Christ: The Truth versus The Concept

This being the season we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and Easter coming in just 1/3d of a year, there are tons of pictures, drawings and artist renditions of Jesus that will be shared. I've always been amazed at how wrong these are. As an old Dallas Holm song says, "they just can't seem to get it right, they soften it up and make it light!"

Jesus was a Jew. A Middle Eastern, dark skinned, dark haired, dark eyed man. The images showing Him with blue eyes, or light eyes are far from correct. The Bible tells us He was not a comely-looking man (i.e., He wasn't a model type, good looking man), He was a Nazarene of the sect that didn't put razor to hair or beard so all these renditions that show Him with a neatly trimmed beard and nicely brushed curls around His shoulders are just wrong. He was a carpenter so He would have had arms as big as many men's thighs, yet He's portrayed as this wimpy looking, almost effeminate character. Meek and mild does not equal thin and weak!

As for the images of Him on the cross, let's remember that His beard was pulled out by His tormentors. He was beaten until the flesh on His body was ripped off, leaving the muscle exposed (i.e., He looked like hamburger) and the crown of thorns He wore were 3 to 4 inches long and they pierced His brow, they didn't sit neatly atop His head. He was in agony as He hung on the cross.

And while I'm at it, what is with Christians suddenly deciding that the scientists must be right and now portray the spikes as driven into His wrists, not the palms of His hands? I don't care what modern men say HAD to be the way He was crucified, those who were there said the spikes were driven into His palms, and Jesus, Himself, told Thomas to feel the scar in the palm of His hands, therefore those spike were driven into His palms, not into His wrists.

My Savior was not the weak, soft, bright eyed, model that is portrayed in the images that are put out there today. He wasn't hung on a cross with a few minor scratches on His body. The stripes He took on His back were for every person that has ever lived on this planet. And those who delivered those stripes hated Him with a furious passion. They didn't just beat Him in some scene of showmanship, they beat Him unmercifully. They wanted Him to suffer and they tortured Him far beyond what most men could endure. Yet, He took each strike to His face, each tug of His beard, each lash to His back, each pounding blow on the spikes and the spear in His side because He knew that was the only way you and I would have a chance at eternal life with God. He endured the unspeakable anguish of not only the physical torture but the weight of every sin every man and woman who has ever taken a breath on this planet has ever or will ever commit. Or even think of committing. Those stripes on His back for our healing meant that He endured every pain and every disease and illness that every person in history would ever suffer.

When you think of it like this, it's not hard to see how much He loved us and for me, it's not hard to live my life sharing Him with others and trying to win them over to Him and showing them the love and grace and mercy that He showed to me those days in Jerusalem and at Calvary and the battle He fought for me when He descended to the pits of hell and took the keys to death and the grave. I'm grateful and I gladly offer my life to Him, not in the manner of laying it down in death, though I'd gladly do that, too, but rather giving my life to Him to live for Him in the same manner He lived His. To do His will, His work and carry His message to the masses.

I pray you have a wonderful Christmas, a blessed New Year and you receive all the miracles God has put your name on.