Thursday is for Apologetics
They will philosophize. They will argue. They will throw sarcasm and scorn. They will seek to overwhelm you with volume, and anger, and vitriol, and stories about “how could a good God …” But the last thing any of them will do is open up a New Testament and read it honestly.
They might read it for proof texts. They might read it for alleged “discrepancies.” They might read it to scorn its miracles. But they will not read it for the objective picture it paints of its central character–Jesus. They won’t do that because He scares them.
His presence, and power, and beauty are so compelling that it would upset the strength of their a priori assumption that such a being cannot exist.
He scares them. Because if He lived the life He lived, and if He died the death He died, and rose on the third day “according to Scripture”, they would have to bow their knee and conform to His will rather than theirs. And that would mean giving up their rebellion. But, when by the power of God and through the word of your testimony, a New Testament is opened, and is read with honesty, even hardened hearts, are changed. Napoleon, in exile because of his crimes against Europe, was one such rebel who opened the Book. His conclusion?
“I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and whatever other religions the distance of infinity. . . . Everything in Christ astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and his will confounds me. Between him and whoever else in the world, there is no possible term of comparison. He is truly a being by himself. His ideas and sentiments, the truth which he announces, his manner of convincing, are not explained either by human organization or by the nature of things . . . . The nearer I approach, the more carefully I examine, everything is above me–everything remains grand, of a grandeur, which overpowers. His religion is a revelation from an intelligence which certainly is not that of man . . . One can absolutely find nowhere, but in him alone, the imitation or the example of his life. . . . I search in vain in history to find the similar to Jesus Christ, or anything which can approach the gospel. Neither history, nor humanity, nor the ages, nor nature, offer me anything with which I am able to compare it or to explain it. Here everything is extraordinary.”1
- 1Cited in McDowell, Josh, Evidence that Demands a Verdict: Vol. 1, (San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers, 1972), 111.
“Everything is extraordinary” about the Christ you love and serve. “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:8).
Everything you do for our extraordinary Christ is worth all the ridicule and scorn you might endure. He has promised much to His children. Keep delighting in Him.