“You mean to tell me God became a baby and He was born in a stable?”
This question was asked by a young man following one of Landon Saunders lectures. It was obvious this man wasn’t being cynical, or seeking attention. He just had to understand. So he half asked and half stated what Saunders had been explaining.
Saunders answered, “Yes, that is what I mean to say.”
Michael Deutsch shares this story from one of Max Lucado’s books.
“And then after becoming a baby, he was raised in a blue-collar home? He never wrote any books, never held public office, yet He called Himself the Son of God?”
Saunders simply replied, “Yes, that’s right.”
“You mean He never traveled outside of His country, never studied at a university or under any great teachers, He never lived in a palace, and yet He wanted to be known as the Creator of the universe?”
Again, Saunders said, “That’s correct.”
The man continued to press Saunders, “So He taught people about God, about living a pure life; and then was crucified? He was betrayed by His own people? Nobody, not one of His followers came to His defense? And then He was executed like a common criminal?”
Saunders succinctly responded , “That’s the gist of it.”
The young man was moving around awkwardly, not wanting to attract attention, yet he had to know the answers. So he continued on — “And after being killed he was buried in a borrowed grave?”
Saunders answered, “Yes, he had no grave of His own, and didn’t have the money to purchase one.”
The young man had more emotion in his voice as he asked, “And according to what’s written, after 3 days in the grave he was resurrected and appeared to over 500 people?”
Again a simple “yes” from Saunders.
“And you mean to tell me that all of this was to prove that God still loves His people and provides a way for us to return to Him?”
“Yes, that’s right,” answered Saunders.
Finally the young man asked, “Well, doesn’t that all sound rather . . .” pausing for a moment to think of the right words, then he said, “Doesn’t that all sound rather absurd?”
All heads now turned to Landon Saunders to see how he would reply. And his response, as usual, was a simple one, “Yes. Yes, I suppose it does sound absurd, doesn’t it?”
The young man is not alone in his thinking. The first century Gnostics, while divided among themselves on Jesus’ nature, basically denied His humanity. And the notion is still alive today.
But the Bible is clear. Jesus was God in the flesh. John affirmed “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). Paul penned that Jesus “was born of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Rom 1:4). And Peter reminds us that Jesus “suffered for us in the flesh” (1 Pet. 4:1).
Jesus ate. Drank. And slept. Felt pain. Sorrow. And anger. He laughed. Cried. And sighed. He felt the depth of anguish and the height of joy. He was tempted. Tried. And taunted. He knew the hurt of rejection. Disappointment. And doubt.
On Thursday evening Jesus “took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance.”
On Friday, His body was nailed to the cross. He suffered. Bled. And died. In the flesh.
And on Sunday, He arose again. In his fleshly body! Wouldn’t you think after the most incredible of all miracles, rising from the grave, He would do something more speculator? Extraordinary? Or divine? More than just appearing again in a human body? But he did!
Jesus is not only my Savior. He’s my example. I’m reminded on the Friday’s of my suffering that Jesus feels my pain.
And when I break break on Sunday, I’m reminded of his broken body. Of His bodily resurrection. And mine. One day.
Absurd? Not really! It was God’s way of saying, “I know how you feel. I care. And I love you.”
But you know what’s really absurd? Refusing to accept Friday’s sacrifice for sin. And denying the hope of Sunday’s resurrection.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman