Jun 1, 2009

Questioning Jesus' Certainty

He speaks of life after death through out his preachings, but how certain was Jesus that He will be resurrected after His suffering and death on the cross?

God is a mystery and placing certainty in something vague, not perceived by your senses and incomprehensible is difficult to come into terms, especially with our secularized society where we find security in what is measurable and tangible.

Of course the ancient to pre-industrialized societies have always rooted their decisions on mystery - magic, nature, and coincident. It's not difficult for them to believe these phenomenons, which they might actually metaphor-ized or hyperbole-ized in their written accounts; therefore, influencing the way we read the Bible.

It is the evident challenge that Jesus wants us to confront - placing your trust in God - even to the point of life or death situations. Church teachings reveal that Jesus knew that he will be resurrected. I won't deal with that part and convince anyone that his certainty is 100%. Everyone's fate is predetermined.

But that absolute certainty has problems: He cheated.

I always considered mental and emotional suffering more painful than the physical. Since he knew that he will be resurrected and he's God, the suffering in the crucifixion is just physical. He knew that he will triumph over death and sin afterward. How can that be salvific?

The innocent people convicted to be crucified must have suffered more, mentally and emotionally, since they knew not of what is to come after death.

The Bible never provides a religious activity as a means to be certain of our salvation. It doesn't encourage us to 'feel' saved or suggest that belonging to one church or religion will give us salvation. No, the one and only sign the bible gives for certainty is Jesus (The Bible - John 3:15, Romans 10:8-9).

"The Bible says certainty is found only in a relationship with Jesus. Only by being in a relationship with Jesus can we be freed from our shame and guilt forever.

One of the thieves crucified with Jesus knew he was guilty before God and deserving of death. But that thief recognized who Jesus was and turned to Him for help. He was clearly not a good person. He asked Jesus in simple words to remember him when he entered his kingdom. This thief went to heaven to be with Jesus that very day (The Bible - Luke chapter 23, verse 43).

If you put your trust in Jesus alone, then you can be certain of going to heaven...Today! But you must turn away from signposts that provide false hope. Don't linger on the wrong path just because others do. A path is never right because many walk it. Neither is it wrong because few are on it. Jesus warned that many will walk a path that leads to destruction (The Bible - Matthew chapter 7, verse 13).

So trust only in Jesus and have certainty today."

Jesus' narrative is actually similar to that of Hercules. Hercules' story has been used in Literature classes while Theology, History and possibly Philosophy was used to interpret Jesus'. We should remember that the Hercules narrative has been written before the incarnation. Would not that influence the way the Bible people interpret the Historical Jesus? Their interpretation (unquestionable and fool proof) has been passed to us through oral and written tradition...

So majority of what we accept is a social fact. We need to have a personal conviction towards issues concerning our faith.

This was supposed to be posted during the Holy Week but i forgot to. A lot of us blindly follow traditions for the sake of following them. Many people who call themselves Catholics observe fasting, abstinence, visita iglesia and easter without really questioning the "facts" behind them. This might sound preachy, but critical faith is needed, or just scrap your faith all together.

Dated April 26, 2009 on my Multiply blog