A Good Day To Die

easter

When Jesus walked the earth, He called many people to follow Him. And the crowds showed up.

He spoke Truth and Life. He reached out to those at the margins, which in His day included women and children, Samaritans [the foreigner], the diseased and more… He performed miracles… He saved lives people were wanting to kill and He even raised some people from the dead. And the crowds cheered and pushed to get closer to hear His words and touch Him to receive some of that power.

He said, “I have come to show you how it is possible to live a God-following life in its entirety in a way that loves God, loves people and takes care of the earth we live on.” The crowd nodded.

Jesus said, “Follow Me, do what I do, and you will know life to the absolute fullest.” The crowd chanted their approval, waving palm branches and singing songs of worship to the One they had chosen to follow.

Then He died…

[and the crowd silently snuck off into the shadows]

LET HIM WHO IS WITHOUT DOUBT… NOT REALLY REQUIRE FAITH AT ALL…

Today we celebrate one of the biggest days of doubt. Jesus hanging on a cross. This wasn’t how it was meant to be. We were expecting Him to overthrow the Roman government and begin His new kingdom of life and love and peace. And yet for the most part, people looks defeated and watched as His blood and life slowly dripped away…

On the biggest day of doubt, it seemed as if the enemy had won and even Jesus Himself seemed to agree as He gasped out those words, “It. Is. Finished.”

He had also said, “Destroy the temple and in three days I will rebuild it.”

And something about “Your body is the temple of God.”

And on the third day, Easter Sunday to come, we will witness the big miracle, the victory over death and the hope of a better life to come.

Better life for all.

But today, as we look on the cross, we can be okay with our doubt.

James 1 is a hard one for the doubters among us:

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Although one wonders [and hopes] if the bit about “When you ask” is relevant in that piece.

After all, why would anyone need faith, if there was no doubt?

Faith surely indicates the presence of doubt, of questioning, of wrestling, of wondering if we have believed in the right one…

Otherwise it surely would not be needed, right? Then it would simply be belief…

Because Hebrews 1:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

Confidence and assurance. But also ‘what we hope for’ and ‘what we do not see’.

Do i believe in the Jesus story? Absolutely. With everything in me.

Do i have doubt? In the face of all the critics and the church’s chequered history and some of the messed-up-ness in the world and feeling far away from God experientially? Absolutely. A lot.

But i am comforted by Jesus’ interaction with this father who had a demon-possessed son that Jesus was about to set free.

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

And while Friday is the day to look on the cross and see the hopes and dreams and ideas of what the world could like fading away into nothingness and despair and question and chaos and brokenness and pain…

Sunday is coming…

eastersunday

About the Author:

Brett Fish is a lover of life, God, tbV [the beautiful Valerie] and owns the world's most famous stuffed dolphin, No_bob (who doesn't bob). He believes that we are all responsible for making the world a significantly better place for everyone.

9 Comments

  1. Thabang April 2, 2015 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    This guy is white? Or you say so in paintings as nobody drew him. Okay so isn’t this now also privilege? Why white? Secondly people die for there causes all the time. Why is this different from ANC elders? Hani, Biko? They died so we can be free. I am not getting why you obsess about one white man.

  2. sthabiso April 3, 2015 at 1:55 am - Reply

    He was born ‘black’ and jew, in those days there was no race but merely existed tribalism and language division. Thereof it is out of context to question it and bring some kind of similarity with the now. Why do you yourself concern yourself on what other humans are fixating themselves with? Why are your worried about christainity alone? What about questioning you muslim followers and they ‘fixation with prophet Mohamed’ in your own words. BIKO is a wonderful man, Hani was a wonderful man too. However there is no historical research that proves either of them rose again after death. Even atheists will tell you after researching the Roman times of Jesus and say well he rose again says ancient cave paintings. Can this be said about any other of our struggle heros?

  3. Thabang April 3, 2015 at 2:15 am - Reply

    So to make this white, the white guy wins again. Now the black guy is sidelined by your priveledge and forgotten or remembered to be white. So tell me why you perpetrated this base. Okay so you think he is God, but so then maybe also Tata? In 100 centuries some say Tata the same? There you have it.

    • brettfish April 3, 2015 at 2:35 am - Reply

      Thabang, no-one except you is saying Jesus is a white man. He was born in the Middle East and do would have far more resembled an Arab than someone like me. Hollywood has tended to portray Him as white which is simply their racialised way and has nothing to do with what is and what is not. Mandela, Biko, Hani, Sobukwe, whoever else you may want to mention may have been good people of had good Godly characteristics but none of them were God which was the claim of Jesus. None of them lived perfect lives as Jesus did. And none of them died specifically for people, as Jesus did. He is the only One who fits that bill and the only one I would choose to both live and die for. You would do well to study His ways and listen to His words, which called us to love all people, including both neighbour and enemy, and to choose to follow Him as your leader instead of anyone else you might think of. Jesus definitely is not a white man’s God, even though the church has sadly at times portrayed Him that way.

      • Thabang April 3, 2015 at 3:51 am - Reply

        So he is not white. We know this. Why is he lied to to make as a white God? You see its again a case of stolen like the land. You make money from this but as a book author. So tell me why it’s business. If it’s religious then maybe non profit. But as authoring works, you profit. So this profit, do you use it for leasuring or poor? Okay so you make a living, but why not use it for repaying stolen lands? Items or clothes to others. Now we are in a turning point but you choose to ignore white privilege when you bring it. So bring it, go use this for the poor and end white privilege. If you refuse to work below you as domestic them why must we? Our sisters? OK explain cuz I’m at a loss. Please stop talking but show us photos of you helping one person. Or just gravy train with bibles? Bible books.

        • brettfish April 3, 2015 at 3:57 am - Reply

          Thabang, I grow kinda weary of your accusations. You clearly don’t know me and I certainly don’t have to prove myself to you at all and am not going to stick pictures on here of me helping people cos that feels like it kinda defeats the point. I am looking for people who will walk alongside me to make positive suggestions for how we both can move forwards and see this country move forwards and I know some incredible people doing just that and hope I can continue to learn from them. But I am not interested as much in people sitting waiting for a handout or trying to throw guilt on people from either a black or white perspective cos I have had it from both sides. Offer some positive helpful suggestions or show up in the flesh and let’s wrestle this out together – I have lots of time and energy and money if need be for that, but not really for any more of this. Show me you are serious yourself about change…

  4. Thabang April 3, 2015 at 5:06 am - Reply

    Would you work domestic worker? Do this job for one day per week for one month. Clean toilet, in townships houses. I ask only yes or no. If God tells you then would you? Or do you only obey his commanding if he say go to a book club, or go here, go to a party or go to overseas holiday. Okay do tell me Mr. I am open with you. Say it here put it in to words.

    • brettfish April 3, 2015 at 5:16 am - Reply

      You know, I absolutely would. Once again you continue to throw these ridiculous accusations against me based on dreams you have in your head if what you think you know, but you don’t have the smallest blue of who I am. When I used to work as a youth worked many years ago. I had to work three jobs just to be able to live and j lived with my parents and had to pay rent. I have made dung floors in rural cottages in Umtata and I have lived in rural huts in Malawi. In Philadelphia when we were in the states recently we lived in a really poor and broken down quite violent community and i pretty much was a domestic worker there – my job was making beds, cleaning a house, showing people around, cleaning toilets. You have absolutely no idea so until you actually take better time to get to know me and walk with me and hear my heart for this nation, you are not welcome here any more with rants and accusations and untruths. So please stop wasting my time and yours. I am far from perfect, but I am trying to make a difference using the ways and the skills in front of me. I hope that you will do the same instead of picking on people you don’t know for i have no idea what reason. You can do better.

  5. Thabang April 3, 2015 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Okay sorry. I was thinking you tropical white boy. Accept my apology please.

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