With Easter in the rear view mirror and its fruits before us, it is time to reflect a moment on the mountain of TV specials that accompany the Feast of the Resurrection. Some of them are moderately friendly to the Biblical record of things but most are decidedly unsure about what we do know or what can ever be known about the real Jesus. From AD to The Dovekeepers to Killing Jesus (three of the newest) to reruns of the familiar programs of old (Ten Commandments among them), we find ourselves inundated less by fact than by fiction, by the wondering thoughts of people who leave us hanging when the Biblical witness is anything but uncertain.
Who was Jesus? Is the Bible reliable? Did Jesus believe He was the Messiah or the Son of God? Was Jesus married? Was Jesus gay? Did Jesus do the miracles ascribed to Him? Did Jesus actually die? Did Jesus actually rise again? It is a feeding frenzy born less of religious conviction than the fact that these tend to be rather cost effective ways to play upon the season interest of folks inside and outside the Christian faith. Strangely, these are promoted less by Christians and churches seeking converts than by media interested primarily in market share and pocket book issues.
In the end, perhaps Anthony Sacramone has it right. In the face of all the questions, curiosity, and interest, the REAL Jesus is not some uncertain question but present in the mystery of His promise: This is My body . . . This is My blood. . . So maybe, if we can remember, we can counter all the intellectual pursuits with the reality of His flesh for the life of the world, given and shed for sinners and present in the Holy Sacrament of His Body and Blood.
Where is the real Jesus?
The REAL real Jesus!
Would that we Lutherans believed what we say we do, what we confess in our Concordia, and what we teach according to Scripture. . . maybe if we did, there would be less need for our people to pursue the unknown because they know Christ where He has placed His promise. . .