Saturday, September 8, 2012

the story of Christ

Today I was reading a short article musing on how and why the story of Christ survived. It's easy for most to admit, concerning the resurrection, that "something must have happened, otherwise it's hard to explain how Jesus's story endured for so long," yet the author of the article affirms that the resurrection "was shocking in its real-ness" and that

We must be wary, then, among other things, of assuming the earliest followers of Christ thought resurrection a reasonable phenomenon or miracles a natural occurrence. They didn't. Investigating the life of Paul, we might ask why a once fearful persecutor of Christ's followers was suddenly willing to die for the story he carried around the world, testifying to this very event that split history. Investigating the enduring story of Christ, we might ask why the once timid and frightened disciples were abruptly transformed into bold witnesses. What happened that led countless Jews and many others to dramatically change directions in life and in lifestyle? That something incredible happened is not a difficult conclusion at which to arrive. It takes far greater faith to conclude otherwise (Carattini).

This reminded me of a post I did a while ago about the importance of the literalness of the resurrection and the need for personal experience with divinity. That the resurrection really happened and that Christ's followers experienced its realness for themselves was powerfully altering. And thinking about that I couldn't help but recall Joseph Smith's testimony in D&C 76:22...
And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
...and how he was also "transformed into [a] bold witness" of Christ -- of the message Christ gave him to share. The experience Joseph had with the Lord "dramatically change[d]" his life, and left him with a story that he too was "willing to die for."
I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it J.S. Hist. 1:25
Experiences with Christ, with His story of love and atonement and resurrection, and the resulting stories we then carry with us of those experiences...they transform us too. That is the power of a personal acquaintance with Truth (one we all need).
It seems to me that the story of Christ has endured for innumerable reasons: because in the fullness of time God indeed sent his Son; because knowingly Jesus walked to the Cross and into the hands of those who didn't know what they were doing; because something really happened after his body was laid in the tomb; and because with great power and with God’s Spirit, the apostles continued to testify of the events they saw. What if the story of Christ remains today simply because it is true? (Carattini)

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