Maybe you are like me. Maybe after having been a Christian for more than a year you have been struggling with taking the various holy days for granted:
Christmas? Been there done that. Oh, wait, we are lighting the candles now? Oh, Okay. Oh, now we are raising them to the ceiling? Nice. Say, how much longer until we turn these things back into the deacons and go home and open presents?
Good Friday? Check. A day off from work and school. Thanks Jesus.
Easter Sunday? I’ve seen The Passion Of The Christ film, what more is there to explain to me? And by the way, I totally saw that ending coming.
This struggle with the significance of these special days is such a drastic contrast with my first year of being a Christian. I couldn’t wait to celebrate the birth of Jesus afresh. I dreaded Good Friday because of the deep sense of sorrow I felt. And Easter – I partied like it was 33AD.
Sound familiar to anyone reading this sentence?
Having recognized this tendency towards lethargy, I came up with a strategy to help me reengage the holy seasons. I want to pass it onto those reading this sentence. The strategy comes from an unlikely source: Church History.
Historians will often ask What If questions as a way to understand the significance of particular events. For example: “How would the American church be different if . . . if Abraham Lincoln was never assassinated?” Or, “if John Wesley died during childbirth?” Or, “If Columbus had speedboats like in that GEICO commercial?”
Recently, I took our church through this exercise during Christmas by asking, “What if Jesus had never come to earth as a human baby?” The worship service was incredible. And it made for a truly meaningful Christmas season. In this post, I want to point readers to the same question, but to imagine it for the Easter season.
So here is the question: What if Jesus never came? Or, what if He was only a good moral teacher who lived a good life and died on that Friday in Jerusalem, never to be resurrected? How might the world history of humanity be different?