Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Crash Course in Jesus

1. Join the Quest
            In the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy joins his father’s life-long quest to find the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper, and which caught his blood at the cross. The Nazis also seek the grail because, according to legend, whoever drinks from it will live forever. As the film reaches its climax, the elder Dr. Jones is fatally wounded, and Indy proceeds alone, driven to find the grail and restore his father’s life.

            He finally reaches the room where a 700-year-old knight guards a table bearing dozens of cups, any of which might be the true grail. His father’s detailed grail diary offers no clues for how Indy should choose, but he must choose quickly, as his father lies dying from a Nazi’s bullet. Trial and error is not an option; while water from the authentic grail grants eternal life, water from every phony grail brings agonizing death. He finally chooses a plain goblet hidden among the ornate jeweled chalices, reasoning a poor carpenter would own such a cup. “You have chosen well,” the knight says.

            My quest is to see Jesus more clearly, leading me to love him more dearly and follow him more nearly day by day, to paraphrase Godspell. How can you and I see him more clearly? 

            Like Indiana Jones, we are surrounded by confusing choices, each claiming to tell the truth about Jesus. Historians, theologians, philosophers, archaeologists, artists, poets, screenwriters, pastors, teachers and the person behind you in the check-out line—they all have an opinion about Jesus.

            Some Wiccans believe Jesus was a wizard, while Berg of the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles claims Jesus was a Kabbalist. Islam teaches Isa was a great prophet, but certainly not the Son of God. What—and whom—should we believe about Jesus? 

            My hope for my blog during Lent is to present a crash course in Jesus—his relationships, teachings, miracles, and more. For me and many of my readers, it will be a refresher course. I’ve been getting to know Jesus since 1966, and I still need constant reminding of what I supposedly know. 

            If you want to join my quest, check back each day.

These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:31

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