Scripture: Matthew 21: 33-43, 45-46
Years ago Charles Colson was in India. The crowds he spoke to wanted to hear the testimony of this Watergate criminal turned prison evangelist. Here’s the way he described his experience:
I had many opportunities to tell what Christ has done in my life. The thousands of faces in those predominantly Hindu crowds would not and smile as I shared my experience. Hindus believe all roads lead to GOD—if JESUS was my guru that was fine. They all had their gurus too.
But when I spoke of the reason for my faith, the resurrection of Christ, the nods would stop. People’s expressions changed and they listened intently. The fact of the resurrection demands a choice, one that reduces all other religions to mere philosophies.
Christianity socks you between the eyes because it is a religion that says: The really marvelous things in life are not the feelings of the heart but the facts of history. There is a world of difference between a subjective religious disposition and an objective resurrection from the dead (John Piper).
The message of the GOSPEL OF JESUS is different from any other religion on earth! “Because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
The faith we embrace is not acceptable in a polite, respectful dialogue about religious experience. Discussions about the relative value of religious experience and declarations about someone’s resurrection from the dead are just not in the same category. That’s why the Indus stopped nodding at Charles Colson. That’s why the Athenians mocked Peter. That’s why Christianity is offensively unique in a pluralistic age. For us everything hangs on a marvelous fact in history, not a marvelous feeling in our hearts.
JESUS is Risen . . . !