TODAY’S ADVENT REFLECTION FOR THE 3rd THURSDAY OF ADVENT, 2016
And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.—John 1:14
That a baby who could fit in your arms is the maker of space and time is the most audacious claim made by any faith ever. So why do we believe it? Because Jesus taught us who he was, and he verified his claims with the most amazing miracle of all time.
Jesus wasn’t put to death for being a political activist. He was put to death for “blasphemy.” By his words and actions, he taught people that he was divine. From the very first days of the Church, the early Christians worshipped him as God.
How do we know those early Christians were right?
Because Jesus rose from the dead.Harvard law professor Dr. Simon Greenleaf set out to debunk Christianity. He thought “everything these people believe rests on their claim that Jesus rose from the dead, but that wouldn’t even hold up in court!”
But the more he researched, the more he ran into a problem. Jesus’ Resurrection would hold up in court. If someone is tried for a crime, if there are eyewitnesses, he’s going to jail. And if every eyewitness is willing to die rather than retract his claim, the person on trial has no hope of staying out of jail! That’s what we have with the Resurrection. Jesus’ first followers didn’t die for a vague “belief.” They died gruesome deaths, from an upside-down crucifixion to being flayed alive, because they had seen Jesus risen from the dead. They wouldn’t have done that for a lie.
Dr. Greenleaf became a Christian.
The love story that is Christianity is the best news imaginable, and the best part about it is that it’s real. Really real. There is a God. And although the story of faith is usually the story of man seeking God, what happened in Bethlehem two thousand years ago is God looking for us. Looking for you.