By Dave Palcsak

“I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic-on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg-or else He would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this Man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God, But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”   C. S. Lewis

Chances are you would need only journey to the closest psyche ward to find one making some sort of divinity claim. Naturally those claims are dismissed out of hand. Not all such claims are made within protected boundaries and unfortunately, a divinity claim that is believed by a fringe element, if it doesn’t just go away, will end very badly. Jim Jones, Charles Manson and David Koresh are but a few chilling examples of what happens when man and his followers believe the self-ascribed deity doctrine they espouse. Regardless of belief systems, all sane individuals know this about the Creator of the universe: It ain’t them. History is replete with god complexes gone bad. The insane or psychotic can be very charismatic. They are expert predators who target the weak and disenfranchised. Often, drugs and alcohol are used to better facilitate mind control. If the train is not derailed from the track, the end of the cult often comes by murder, suicide or both.

The toll individuals with relatively limited powers have taken is nothing compared to worship of heads of state. Kim Jong of N Korea considered himself a god. His people were under his iron fisted control.. The only way to have any quality of life in N Korea was to rise in his military. The world is a safer place with his death. His son will have (is having) a more difficult time with the god thing because pop proved his mortality. Consider Polpot, Idi Amin, Mao, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler or any others who ruled with absolute power. Thousands of millions have been killed throughout history by world leaders who thought they were gods, or at least, had god complexes. Any man who thinks himself god, or imagines himself above all law will ruin many and themselves. There is only one exception to this in human history.

Jesus Christ. Jesus was never a member of the military; in fact, he never used force at all. He was never elected to any office; He actually made it a point to separate Himself from the political process. He was not rich and lacked a respected family pedigree. We know nothing of His formal education and He was certainly not a member of high standing in any synagogue. “He grew up before Him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground. He had no form or splendor that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like one people turned away from, He was despised and we didn’t value Him.” Isaiah 53:2-3. How could a man like that influence the world more than any before or since? Only one answer makes sense. He wasn’t just a man, He was, as He said, the Son of God.

“Those who hate me without cause are more numerous than the hairs of my head.” Psalm 69:4. Despite the supernatural warnings of the Old Testament, the 1st century expectation was one of a conquering Messiah. Passages predicting the suffering Messiah were completely (almost) ignored. “They pierced my hands and my feet”…Ps.22:16). This was written before crucifixion was invented. Even His own disciples didn’t get it. After Jesus was put to death, they went into hiding.  They didn’t understand that Jesus was speaking of His own resurrection when He said He would rebuild God’s temple in three days. “You will not allow your faithful one to see decay.” Ps.16:10.

The religious leaders of the day were afraid of Jesus and His influence on the masses. They eliminated Him to protect their power structure. Guilty of nothing but truth, the Messiah was put to death. Several Roman soldiers were placed at the tomb to prevent the body from being stolen. Despite the fact that Jesus was a common criminal and was killed with two other common criminals (Roman citizens, no matter what they did would never be crucified, it was a punishment for only the lowliest) Pilot accepted a request from a wealthy Jew named Joseph of Arimathea for the body. “They made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man at His death, although He had done no violence and not spoken deceitfully.” Is.53:9. Those who had followed Jesus of Nazareth were a leaderless defeated bunch. They had given everything in vain.
But suddenly they all had a change of heart. The disciples went from a group in hiding to a force that would grow even in the face of death. What possibly could have completely changed these men? How could a numerically insignificant, powerless sect whose leader was crucified as a criminal usher in the greatest spiritual movement history has ever known? Eleven of the twelve disciples were put to death. Most of them could have been spared if only they would have denied Jesus as God. In fact millions of martyrs throughout history have died rather than renounce their faith. While it’s true that folks have died for wrong causes (suicide bombers for example), why would anyone die for what they know to be false? The disciples were the inner circle. They ate with Jesus, prayed with Him, laughed with Him and cried with Him. Their hopes for an eternal future died with Him on that cross. Only one thing could have rekindled their passion. They experienced Jesus Christ resurrected.

“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16. The Bible is by leaps and bounds the most examined and verified work of ancient times. Secular historians overwhelmingly agree on the textual veracity of the Old and New testaments. Jesus lived and was crucified. His tomb was found empty. Shortly after His death an amazing movement, continuing to this day, began that could not be put down. Thousands into millions have died rather than reject Jesus as God. These are historical facts disputed by only fringe elements with no scholastic proof. I will acknowledge that although historians agree on the aforementioned facts, they don’t all accept a supernatural explanation. Here are a couple of alternatives. The people were duped by a man resembling Jesus who fooled those who knew him intimately. Folks were victims of a mass hallucination. Believe it or not, that’s about as good as the non-miraculous explanations get. It’s very common. I see it in biology and cosmology all the time. I call it the ABG explanation (anything but God).

The Gospel demands we study and seek truth. Believers in ancient times explained what Job really meant when he described a spherical earth when everyone at the time knew it to be flat. More recently, replacement theology sprang up in the west because it wasn’t possible for Israel to be reborn in a day, much less become a lush environment producing great fruit (as prophesied in Ezekiel). The whole region was a barren waste land. Impossible? It looked to be until 1948. The book of Revelation speaks of a 200 million man army from the east. There weren’t that many people in the known world when that was written. U.S. intelligence confirms China could easily have an army that large already. Two thousand years ago the whole world could in no way see one geographical spot from thousands of miles away. Turn on world news any night. We know weapons of mass destruction are all too real. The carnage spoke of in Revelation was pure fantasy at the time. Who would have thought weapons could poison land for years. Folks (churches included) work very hard to explain the Bible as effective in teaching despite the stories and errors. Why in the world would believers apologize? The Bible is from God through His servants. Paul says we worship in vain if Jesus was not resurrected. He was. He will come again. Rejoice that our faith is based on rock solid foundation. Science, history, archaeology, philosophy, morality…. everything supports Christianity. If you don’t believe the Word is truth that’s your call. Deny it if that’s the case. One way or the other, get off the fence. “So then, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:16.


Tagged with:

Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.