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April 6, 2004
He was not afraid, some people think. Not like me. He was brave because He knew He was the Son of God. Never unsure, never in doubt. He was not like me.

He was just like me, some people think. A man like any man, but one who rose magnificently to an occasion thrust upon him by others. There are no limits to the power of the human spirit. He shows us all what we could be. We are all Sons and Daughters of God.

Or He was an innocent victim. All the rest is embroidery by other hands. That's what the Son of God is: an invention.

Or He was a political activist. His death was a deliberate act of martyrdom that would galvanize His countrymen into resistance. Son of David. Son of God.

Or He was a Great Soul, like Ghandi, come to display what life can be. His reality was other than that of this world. It still is. He was the Son of God, one of the few who appear among us from time to time.

Or He was a teacher, that's all. His death was a tragedy. But His teaching lives on, and we would be better off if we followed it better.

Or He was a wonder worker. He held the power of life and death in His hands. He could have survived the cross. He brought Himself back from the tomb to demonstrate His complete mastery over our ancient enemy.

There are many Christs in the imagination of believers and of sceptics. About as many as there are people. About as many reasons not to believe as there are to believe. The evidence for assertions about Jesus of Nazareth would not stand up in a court of law or a school of journalism. Which of our many fact-finding faculties do we bring to bear on Jesus?

All of them.

And none of them suffice. We begin to suspect that this is not a matter of evidence.

We do not desert Him here, in this terrible place of misunderstanding and violence. Or we do desert Him, and taste again our own unfaithfulness. Feebly empowered by our faltering will, we step out on the road with Him, not sure even who He is. Must we do this? Must we go? No. Nobody will make us. It is our choice to walk with Him. We arise and stumble along with the others. We learn Christ by walking with Him. At the end of our journey together, the most articulate among us is not in a better position to sum Him up than we were when we began.

But we know this much: for the world, we would not have stayed away.
Copyright © 2022 Barbara Crafton
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