Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Ultimate "What If..."

This is an article I've been pondering for sometime. Now that we're past the Christmas season into the new year, let's ponder song provocative ideas. In no way do I mean to be sacrilegious, but simply thought provoking.

You don't have to be a science fiction buff to have heard of or seen fictional situations of alternate realities, and what would happen if someone went back in time and changed something that caused future events to unfold differently. I'm not suggesting any of that.  I want you tho think about the "what if" if something very important in human history had not happened, say the most important event in human history - the birth of Jesus Christ.

So, walk with me for a few moments and try to wrap your head around this. I'm not a religious person by any means or stretch of the imagination. But as I listened to the preacher at church talk about the birth of Jesus Christ for the last few weeks, the journey of the wise men, and the quest of King Herod to kill a threat to his kingdom, I kept wondering how we would perceive those events if they were happening in today's modern society.  I'm talking about a world that is still living in the Old Testament.

Let's try to put this in perspective. We still have the Old Testament prophecies, and that's where our scriptures end. The world is not waiting for the second coming of Christ, he hasn't been born to Joseph and Mary, the wise men have not seen the bright star, which they followed for 2 years. But we live in a modern society much like we have now. The real theorists could debate what life would be like on planet Earth, how religious and philosophical differences would have shaped (differently) what we have today.  But let's just assume that society and technology progressed pretty much as we know it now.

You know how skeptical you are, and the skepticism of the world at-large towards God. So let's imagine that we have the Old Testament scriptures and it's been 2500 years since the last prophecy of Jesus.  Suddenly there is an enormously bright star in the sky. Every piece of electronic imaging equipment on Earth is pointed towards it.  But still a group of "Wise Men" are following God's orders to follow it, to meet the King of the Jews. When they arrive at the stables, they are met with hundreds of news crews from all around the world. Imagine that seen from "Contact", the little insignificant town of Bethlehem Israel is over run with media, protesters, skeptics, and mobs of people who just want a look.   There would be police and military amass trying to control the chaos.

Realize back then, it took them 2 years to reach Jesus and his family. By then, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were no longer in the stables, of course.  So the wise men, get on a plane, drive their SUV or minivan towards this star.  They get there in a few days. They tell the world the King of the Jews has been born. It's Headline News for days and weeks to come, but like every news story, it too fades to black eventually.

(No, this is not the Three wise me....)
How do you think we would respond given our present day state of mind?  How do you thing the Prime Minister and government of Israel will take the news?  Do you think the world would receive him as the Son of God? And with the exception of knowing he and his family fled to Egypt until he was a teenager, we know little about Jesus's life until he was 30 years old. (OK, don't be thinking about Jesus on Family Guy in the Record store, that really is sacrilegious.)

If the birth of Jesus Christ was to occur today, his and his families entire lives would be all over the internet and the news. Nothing would be off limits. But would you even consider the possibility that he is the incarnation of God in the flesh? Probably of something else, but not of God.

And those miracles he performed? What would he have to do to convince any of us?  Would any of really believe that he walked on water even if we saw it with our own eyes? Feed thousands of people with a few fish and loaves of bread?  Making the blind see again?  Bring the dead back to life?  There are many people that have made that claim. And how he would die, that is a loaded question. If we were still living all these years under Old Testament law, would crucifixion still be common?  Yes the whole idea and possibilities quickly unravels with each passing breath.

To say nothing about his burial and resurrection.

Moses in 2013
If you believe the events from the Bible, and think to yourself how could people not believe what they were seeing, the miracles, the prophecies coming to reality.  Fast forward it to 2013, and think about it.

My hope is that I've strengthened your faith and not given you reason to doubt.  Sometimes we have to take with Word of God on faith, and not take the "History Channel" perspective. There are many things in life that cannot be easily explained or characterized, we just have to go with it.  That's FAITH.

Hebrews 11.1

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"

John Crawford

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