Monday, March 26, 2007

The Christ Progression

An interesting thing occurred to me in one of my many introspective moments. My perspective of Jesus has changed throughout life. He hasn’t but obviously, I have. As such I tend to see Him through maturing eyes and have the benefit of hindsight. I’m still working on the foresight thing but that is a difficult task. For what it’s worth…here is the Jesus I knew during the various points of my life:

Super Jesus – With Santa, The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, and a wide variety of fictional Super Heroes to choose from, it is only natural for young boys to adopt a similar view of Christ. Not yet knowing that the rest of the bunch are indeed fictional, we are left to see Christ as this amazing miracle man who saved the planet. All completely true facts mind you but somewhat lost in the mix of other characters dominating our lives. You could get me just as excited about Optimus Prime as you could with the mention of Jesus.

Rebel Jesus – Ah…the teenage years. I now know everything, right? Well at least at this point I have sifted through the fictional characters and just have Jesus and Superman left standing…so that’s good. Like most adolescents trying to figure out who they are and what God means in their lives, I now choose to see Christ through a rebellious lens. Not so much because I was one but maybe because I wanted to be. Christ became the hippie. He was a sandal wearing, authority challenging, knock-over-the-temple-merchant tables kind of guy. He lived off the land, had no interest in things or stuff and at every turn he told The Man where to shove it. This view actually lasted into college but aren’t we just grown teenagers at that point anyway?

Savior Christ – I’ve alluded to it in past posts and do not feel like rehashing much in this one. It’s safe to say though that I somehow made it to my early 20’s without truly understanding the salvation message. I have been blaming my former denomination for failing me in this arena but am starting to consider my role in the game. I am certain that all of the information was there. So it was either presented improperly or I am a dolt with very little understanding of the message. One key element I think most believers really need in order to understand Savior Christ is…get ready…the need to be saved. Sure I had a wake of sins in my life prior to turning twenty but I never understood what a wretch I am. My explorations took me to many crazy books and places but thankfully my heart was open to truth. I found Christ again and He was a brand new being. He sacrificed himself that I may enter the gates, unworthy though I am.

The Groom – Dan Brown and James Cameron might have you believe that Christ was married to Mary Magdeline. But the Bible only supports one Bride and we all know he was not an adulterer. The Body of Christ (his believers) is his bride and the significance for me as a newly married man was not lost. While He did speak with authority, his message was one of love. He was so serious about the subject that he sacrificed his own life for His bride. And while He did not come here to put on a Power Point presentation on marriage, His example is all a man needs to truly provide and care for a spouse.

The Father – This is where I currently stand in life and how I am now seeing Christ. All of the former examples are true and worthy of inspection. But this is a new layer to the onion and one that really sheds light on my relationship with Jesus. To paraphrase the Bible a bit, “If we who are wicked give good gifts to our children, how much more will our Heavenly Father provide?” Translation: You think you love your kids? How much more does Christ love them when you are this imperfect, sinful being and He is perfection? Love for children is so intense. I cannot look into their eyes without my heart fluttering and a smile on my face. I cannot kiss a bobo or dry a tear without my own soul crying out for their pain. I cannot see them vulnerable without becoming vulnerable. Their joy is mine. Their pain is mine. It is easy for me to understand that God would feel the same way about my kids but I am often reminded…He also feels that way about me! Amazing.

I’ve been on this journey long enough now to have SOME foresight. My perspective will change again. And again, it will be valid and true.