Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lent Day 39: Who's dead now?

"I will run my sword through anyone who says Mohammad is dead!" Omar, Mohammad's friend stood in front of Mohammad's tent for a few days before he admitted that Mohammad was not going to rise from the dead. He was just another prophet.

But Mohammad (570-632) had heard about Jesus and his resurrection, though he wasn't clear about the details or if someone had stolen Jesus' body (as the tomb guards claimed, after a generous bribe from a shocked and frightened religious council. Matth. 28:11f.) Mohammad talked to his followers about the possibility of Jesus' resurrection and other things he'd heard on his travels. A scribe wrote his ideas into what we know as the basic Koran. (Mohammad was illiterate, like most others of his day.) In later generations, more of his ideas - passed down verbally for a hundred years or more - were assembled into Islamic writings and accepted as his words.

Mohammad himself never denied the resurrection of Jesus. Obviously his closest friend Omar hoped it would be true, if God had revealed himself through Mohammad. But Mohammad, Buddha, various Hindu holy men, great philosophers... where are they now? Dead. Buried. Bodies returned to dust. Their followers are most offended at the thought of Jesus' uniqueness. Jesus was raised from the dead, seen by over 500 witnesses after his resurrection. No other spiritual leaders can claim this.

A lovely Muslim friend of mine told me of her conversation with a Muslim who converted to Christianity. His life was such a train wreck, he said, "That I desperately needed a God who is alive, not a prophet who is dead."

The Holy Spirit points us to the living God, not a good man, not a dead spiritual prophet. At Easter, we worship Jesus, raised to life by mighty power of God. A Puritan prayer celebrates the holy Trinity, the mystery of God among us:
"O Father, thou hast loved me and sent Jesus to redeem me;
O Jesus, thou hast loved me and assumed my nature, shed thine own blood to wash away my sins, wrought righteousness to cover my unworthiness;
O Holy Spirit, thou has loved me and entered my heart, implanted there eternal life, revealed to me the glories of Jesus.
Three Persons and One God, I bless and praise thee, for love so unmerited, so unspeakable, so wondrous, so mighty to save the lost and raise them to glory."

Read more:
*I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:18-21 NIV

*Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 NIV

No comments:

Post a Comment