The Gospel is cosmic in scope.
That is, it views the coming of Jesus as the reclamation of a world in rebellion from malevolent forces—mafiosa-like grifters—ruled by the ultimate narcissist: hassatan—the Adversary.
Yeah, it’s epic. And if we’re honest, a lot to take in. And to believe.
It’s one thing to believe in a man’s resurrection after a brutal execution. Jesus understood this deeply when in a resurrected state he offers late-comer-to-the-party Thomas the opportunity to stick his fingers in his ten-day old wounds. “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!” JOHN 20:29
The apostle Peter picks up on this challenge of belief and writes: You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You can’t see him now, but you believe in him. You are filled with a wonderful and heavenly joy that cannot be explained. 1 PETER 1:8
But this is bigger than a once-dead man. The real stickler is why he came in the first place. And as a baby, at that. That’s where this cosmic clash of kingdoms begins. Before his resurrection, Jesus saw himself as a Liberator, restoring humans to their rightful place before God and in the universe.
We Americans, with our uncanny ability to monetize and market anything and everything, can take the most enormous event and trivialize it for human consumption.
To trivialize something is to make it small.
So how did a roadside attraction like “Golgotha Fun Park” once exist? Or the bankrupted “Holy Land Experience” in Orlando with its Trin-i-tee mini golf course? Or the “Ark Encounter” that sued its insurance company for not covering flood damage on their property? Yes, you read that right: the reimagined Ark had flood insurance.
Heck, even in my town of Mason, Ohio there was once a nail salon called—and I’m not making this up—“The Saviour’s Nails”.
But those egregious displays of trivialization are easy to pick on.
Where do we leaders and followers of Christ shrink the power and capabilities of the Liberator we serve? Where have we not challenged ourselves—and our people—with some of the remarkable claims Jesus made about those who would follow him? Where have we cheapened spirituality and married it with the agenda of a political party? Where have we demythologized the gospel to mere platitudes? How have we depreciated the glory?
This is what spiritual leadership must wrestle with…if we really believe we’re on a cosmic mission.
Dave Workman | The Elemental Group
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