Buckle up for the truth

Published 5:50 am Monday, February 27, 2023

Have you ever had the experience of walking up on a conversation recounting a particular event that you knew well because you were there… and the retelling of the story wasn’t as factual as you remember?

Can you say FAKE NEWS?

You quickly and politely interject the conversation with the words… pardon me, I was there when it happened… and here’s the real story.

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So regardless of the flowery commentary and the creative wordsmithing, the facts are still the facts according to the eyewitness account you provided.

That scenario reminds me of a gentleman by the name of John.

He wrote to his friends… “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.”

This is as close as you can get to the real thing! I mean, this is John, Jesus’ closest friend writing 95 A.D. is observing some things that are very troubling to him.

Many had shared the story to this point, but John sees something that disturbs him… false writings, false teachings. He is seeing heterodoxy… wrong belief.

He also concerned about hetero praxis… wrong practice.  So, he stakes his claim.

First he says… I HEARD! John is saying, I heard him speak!

Personally! John cuts through the clutter and says, I’m not interested in all you think, or in all you hear…I was there!

Secondly John says… I HAVE SEEN! John is not repeating himself, he is incredibly accurate!

The word seen… “Haran” in the Greek meaning physical sight.

Then he says… looked on. That’s the Greek word “thesili” which means to behold with understanding! John is saying not only did I see him, but I understood who he was!

Lastly he says… I TOUCHED HIM! This is a big deal!

You may be thinking, Tim, that was thousands of years ago.

Who cares?

This really matters because if Jesus had a real physical body… Then: Jesus, God’s son really did come to earth, and if he really came then the account of his death is true and he actually died and then was seen of many, heard, and touched, then the resurrection really happened!

And if someone came back from the grave then they have power over death… That makes him God; that means his claims are true, then I have to admit I am wrong, and I have to admit I am a sinner, and I have to repent, walk another way.

You see, if Jesus had a real physical resurrected body it matters!

John disputed and stood against Cerenthius and Gnosticism.

We today have the lasting influence of Rudolf Karl Bultmann, a German theologian and prominent voice in liberal Christianity.

Did you ever wonder why people can call themselves Christians and blatantly stand for things that are clearly condemned in the Bible?

Here’s why, Bultman’s reasoning teaches… “The disciples sat around after Jesus died and because we all know that no one can really rise from the dead we must find a way to communicate who Jesus is and was, his great influence. We’ll just begin with the premise that “it’s as if he rose from the dead” Future readers will know he didn’t really rise from the dead it’s just a metaphor.

They will know that the Jesus of history is really still dead and buried, but the Christ of our faith rose from the dead.

So, every miracle is dismissed!

The calming the sea… well, Jesus metaphorically calms the seas of our heart.

The miracle of the five loaves and fishes, that means Jesus has the capacity to feed the souls of many.

So, they systematically destroy the truth of the scriptures. No resurrection, no miracles, no God, no word of God, no standards, no sin, no savior, no need to repent, no forgiveness… the result… Anything goes!

In April 1988, the evening news reported on a photographer who was a skydiver.

He had jumped from a plane along with numerous other skydivers and filmed the group as they fell and opened their parachutes.

On the film shown on the telecast, as the final skydiver opened his chute, the picture went berserk.

The announcer reported that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the plane without his parachute.

It wasn’t until he reached for the absent ripcord that he realized he was freefalling without a parachute.

Until that point, the jump probably seemed exciting and fun.

But tragically, he had acted with thoughtless haste and deadly foolishness. Nothing could save him, for his faith was in a parachute never buckled on.

Everyone is putting their faith in something, everyone counting on something to be real when they come to the end of life.

Even if that something is nothing.

Trouble is, we are all coming to the end eventually, and if John is right, then we better be as well.

There is absolute truth, his name is Jesus. He is God’s son who was born of a virgin, died on a cross and rose from the dead that we might have eternal life.

Time to buckle up with the truth!

Tim Throckmorton is the national director of Family Resource Council’s Community Impact Teams.