Is There Something More?
So, was Jesus just a good guy who was unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time ending up the tragic victim of a miscarriage of justice, another holy man whose mission ended in failure and disillusionment? Or is there something more to it than that?
You might attend the Passion as part of a group or been dragged along by Christian friends or maybe you saw a poster somewhere and came along on your own. It’s possible that you’ve maybe seen something in the Aberdeen Passion which has raised questions for you. If Jesus really lived and if this stuff really happened and it wasn’t a mistake or tragedy but is somehow part of God’s plan, how should I respond?
Prayer – God, Are You There?
If you are not sure what to think but feel like something has changed because of what you’ve seen and experienced then try praying about it… and be honest as you do so. You don’t have to use big religious sounding words that you may have heard when you were small and your school visited church. Your prayers can be as long or as short as you like and you can talk and listen to God any time and anywhere. You may feel a bit stupid at first, like you are going crazy and talking to someone who you can’t see and who might not even be there, but take a risk and see what happens.
“Father God, I’m here and I have lots of questions and don’t know what to think about Jesus and the cross and resurrection. I’m not even sure if you are there or if you care about me but if you are there and if you really do care about me, please show me the way forward and deal with my doubts. If you really can change my life and if you really have forgiven me because of the cross then help me to find out about this new life on offer to me and give me the courage to experience it. If Jesus is the key to this then help me to invite him into my life and live my life doing the things and saying the things which please you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
It’s About Relationship Not Dogma and Theories
Often Christians are portrayed in the media as being extreme and unlikeable. However, being a follower of Jesus isn’t really about adopting a set of theories or dogmas. The main thing about being a Christian is having a relationship with Jesus. Christianity can be summed up in two words which Jesus used often: “Follow me”. Jesus asks to be No.1 in your life (you follow Him rather than the other way around) but also offers to be your best friend, with you every step of the way through life, someone who is always there for you, walking alongside you and istening to you day by day.
Like any other friendship you need to work at it and make time for your friend, meet with them, talk with them and spend time with them. There will be ups and downs along the way and points where you don’t always ‘get’ what Jesus is up to or what he is wanting you to do. You’re not alone in this, Jesus often bamboozled the disciples too but they stuck with him even in the hard times and he promised He would never forsake us either and would be with us always.
If you are wanting to find out more then one of the best places to look is still the Bible – the place where many people still believe that God has set down the most important things we need to know about God, life, us and our world. The Bible is a collection of different books, letters and songs written over hundreds of years and very few people who begin reading on page one aiming to read the Bible cover to cover make it to the last page. If the story of the passion has got you interested try reading the book of Luke for yourself and find out more about His life and teaching. Most people find a modern translation like the New International Version or The Message easier to follow. You can try these translations free online at www.biblegateway.com. It helps to pray before you start reading. Ask God to help you understand his message as you read the Bible and to live by His truth.
Being a follower of Jesus isn’t easy and everyone needs some friendly support to keep going and that’s where a church can help. Some churches run courses like Alpha and Christianity Explored which are designed to help explore what Christianity is really all about and these give you the chance to hear and read about some of the key truths of Christianity but also give you space to air your own opinions and ask questions and learn from other group members. If you came to The Aberdeen Passion with a friend who goes to church ask where they go or if they can recommend a good church for you to try. Alternatively contact The Aberdeen Passion team who will be able to help you out with finding a church or helping you to find an appropriate person to speak with.