The Resurrection. The Aftermath.
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Mark 16:17-18 (NIV)
I thought Hinduism was bonkers. A few of my friends subscribed to the faith, mostly out of tradition than anything legitimate, and it never made sense. It is a religion with too many gods to count, each cast in its image as an idol, usually placed around a home in semi-fengshui’d fashion. Each has its own fantastical backstory, involving severed heads, dozens of arms, rebirth, resurrection, sacrifice, and animal cross-breeding. Each also has its own unique thematic area. There were good gods and bad gods, caught in a seemingly endless spiritual battle.
In high school, I asked a Hindu student if she took it all seriously. She said no, but that her parents believed in it whole-heartedly. My less-than-subtle chuckle said it all.
“That’s funny to you?” She asked me.
There was no time to back tread, so I needed to own it.
“A little. I mean, it’s all a little ridiculous.”
She looked around at the gaggle of students now paying attention.
“Isn’t your religion based off a guy doing miracles who dies, goes to Hell, comes back to life, and then ascends into the clouds?”
The fight-worthy “ooooooooooooohhhhhs” that resounded still echo in my ears.
There are some ridiculous passages in the Bible that seem to have more in common with Lord of the Rings than with reality. Take the Nephilim – a race of angel-human halfbreeds who walked the Earth during Noah’s time. Or Moses’ burning bush – which he alone sees – and the slew of prehistoric plagues that rain down in its wake. Not to mention the Red Sea parting, on top of the Elijah separating a second body of water.
To the unbeliever, it looks and sounds ridiculous. To the Christian, however, it all makes sense.
Jesus life and works culminates in his resurrection, which occurs on the third day after his death, just as predicted. He walks among his disciples and followers for a few days, appearing to several groups of people. He offers Thomas a chance to feel the holes in his hands and feet before he believes. Finally, he offers up the “great commission,” commanding his apostles to enter the world and preach the good news of Jesus Christ.
And then it’s over. He ascends into Heaven, leaving us all dumb-founded.
Sure it’s all a little ridiculous, and it begs the questions. In such an non-fantastic world, why does such a large portion of the world believe all of it?
It’s gotta be something.