Summary: Why Christ came me seem absurd, but it is because God loves us.
First Baptist Church
December 24, 2001
When one of his speaking engagements ended, Landon Saunders would always take questions from the audience. On one night a young man began a dialogue with him that was spellbinding the audience. It was obvious this man was not being cynical, nor was it apparent that he was seeking attention, he just had to understand. So he half asked and half stated what Saunders had been explaining —
"You mean to tell me God became a baby and He was born in a stable?"
Saunders answered, "Yes, that is what I mean to say."
The man continued, "And then after becoming a baby, he was raised in a blue collar home? He never wrote any books, never held public office, yet He called Himself the Son of God?"
Saunders simply replied, "Yes, that is right."
"You mean He never traveled outside of His country, never studied at a university or under any great teachers, He never lived in a palace, and yet He wanted to be known as the Creator of the universe?"
Again, Saunders replied, "That’s correct."
The man continued to press Saunders, "So He taught people about God, about living a pure life; and then was crucified? He was betrayed by His own people? Nobody, not one of His followers came to His defense? And then He was executed like a common criminal? All for teaching about God?
Another short answer came from Saunders, "That’ the gist of it."
The young man was moving around awkwardly, not wanting to attract attention, yet he had to know the answers. So he continued on —
"And after being killed he was buried in a borrowed grave?"
Saunders answered, "Yes, he had no grave of His own, and did n’t have the money to purchase one."
The audience was spellbound by this dialogue. Two men were talking and questioning the holy and sacred. Two men on opposite sides, one trusting, the other wanting to trust, hoping that somehow he could find the trust to come to the other side of that chasm.
The young man had more emotion in his voice as he asked, "And according to what’s written, after 3 days in the grave he was resurrected and appeared to over 500 people?"
Again a simple "yes" from Saunders.
"And you mean to tell me that all of this was to prove that God still loves His people and provides a way for us to return to Him?"
"Yes, that’s right," answered Saunders.
And that’s when it happened, everyone in the room seemed to sense what question was coming next. The young man then asked, "Well, doesn’t that all sound rather . . ." pausing for a moment to think of the right words, he finally said, "Doesn’t that all sound rather absurd?"
All heads now turned to Landon Saunders to see how he would reply. And his response, as usual, was a simple one, "Yes, yes. I suppose it does sound absurd, doesn’t it?" (1)
Not the answer we want to hear about Christianity. Absurd? The birth of Jesus . . . ABSURD? The cross . . . ABSURD? The resurrection . . . ABSURD? How can it be? Is it absurd?
Well, my friends, I am hear tonight to tell you that it may sound absurd, but it is not. What God did makes sense. It makes sense that Jesus had to come to earth and live as we do. It makes sense that someone had to be our sacrifice, because a sacrifice was needed to bring forgiveness to us so that we could come before God. It makes sense that a Savior had to come so that we could experience what it is like to have a relationship with God and to experience His grace. And it makes sense that only one person could perform this monumental task, the Son of God, Jesus.
However, WHY God did this seems to be absurd. Think about it, that type of love just isn’t logical. Would you really lay down your life for someone you REALLY don’t know? Be honest. How do you really explain that type of love without looking at the cross and seeing the pain of my sins and yours coming upon Jesus.
Think about it, for thousands of years we, boys and girls, men and women have tried to charm God, we’ve tried to be His friend, buddies with God. And for thousands of years we had let God down more than we lifted Him up in praise and worship.
Think about all those Bible characters God called on to lead His people. They were truly characters of the first order. What about Aaron, Moses brother and right hand man, the first high priest of the Israelites. He witnessed the plagues, the crossing of the Red Sea, and yet this saintly man of God helped the people worship a golden calf, all while Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving the ten commandments.