Numerous historical sources recount the activity and death of a man named Jesus from Nazareth. His family is known. His friends are known. A continual record spanning two millennia has consistently carried the story forward. Have you met Jesus?
Some might consider that a silly question – or worse. If such a man lived it was long before your oldest known ancestor breathed his last. How could you have met the Man?
Reflecting on the events that moved Jesus from dinner with friends in Bethany to the prophesied triumphal entry into Jerusalem and from Calvary into glory, I labored to find an illustration worth making. No analogy or illustration is worthy to compare to a life and event that launched time, truth, and eternity into existence.
Yet, I am moved to do the best I can.
Countless mothers and fathers welcomed sons into the world that did not live into middle age. In earlier times there could be no video or photographs of that child and no public record of his smile, the sound of his voice, or what he did on any particular day.
If you were the mother or father who lost a son could strangers convince you in later years that he was only a figment of your imagination?
“Where is the proof of the child?”
“Ask those who are still alive who met him. They’ll tell you.”
“How do we know they wouldn’t say you had a son to spare your feelings or to keep peace in the family? The word of those who know you is hardly proof.”
“Then check the records of the local media. There are several mentions of him.”
“There may be a general record of a boy with the same name, but you can’t prove that boy belonged to you.”
How long would you put up with such nonsense? If the inquisition went on long enough and the number who challenged your memory grew large enough, would you begin to doubt that your son ever lived?
Your son was a real person. He lived and breathed. He laughed and cried. He had people who loved him, friends who walked with him, and a unique place in the fabric of history. You know your son lived because you met him. You knew him. You felt him.
Have you met Jesus?
There is ample public record of His life and death. He had a mother who nursed Him and dried His tears. Friends walked with Him and there would be no history without Him.
How is it possible for strangers who never met Him to cause doubt in the hearts of any who have?
There is more objective historical evidence of the life, ministry, and resurrection of Jesus Christ than the existence of Plato or a gifted playwright named William Shakespeare.
Though people doubt your memory of a beloved son, you knew him. He lived. He lives in you.
Though people doubt that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, led a perfect life, walked the dusty roads in ministry with a band of believers, died on a Roman cross, and rose from the tomb on the third day – you know better. He lives. He lives in you.
I know people my husband has never met. Yet he believes they exist. The loudest voice demanding proof of Jesus has no influence over what I know to be true because I know Him. I have met Him. He lives. He lives in fact and He lives in me.
Have you met Jesus?