Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Proof

People want proof that God exists. It is not clear what would work. It would have to be something unexplainable in any other way. Not just that people would not know the explanation but they could not even imagine an explanation being discovered someday. Then you can question the data. Maybe it was a hoax. Maybe the witnesses were crazy or lying or something. Any proof would have to completely eliminate all these possibilities. Is there such a proof?

There really is only one proof for God and that is Jesus. Can He be explained another way? Not really. Could someone have made Him up? You can always say that. Knee-jerk skepticism is always an option. Still can this man be made up? Not if you really examine Him. Born into a Jewish tradition expecting a Messiah. Fits the prophecies but not the expectations of most Jews. A theme with Jesus that God does what He says but not what we expect despite the fact that we know what He said.

Then he comes out with the most amazing teachings. The parables like the good Samaritan, the prodigal son, the lost sheep, etc. The sermon on the mount and other discourses. Referring to God as Father when nobody had done that before. People making up hoaxes don't come up with this kind of brilliance.

Beyond brilliance we have the claims of Jesus. Subtle yet unavoidable claims of divinity. The "I am" statements in John. I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me will never die. I am the way, the truth and the life, nobody comes to the Father but by me. The synoptic gospels have others that are just as startling. All authority on heaven and on earth has been given to me. Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away. Anyone who loves his mother or father more than me is not worthy of me. Jesus is a great teacher of humility yet routinely makes grandiose claims about Himself.

Then there are the problematic pieces. The stories Christianity has preserved that don't fit easily. Jesus going to the temple and not telling his parents. Any number of difficult sayings that are all over the New Testament. What kind of hoax includes so much that is difficult to digest for not apparent reason?

Then there is the most problematic part of all. Jesus get crucified. Who would make that up? Then the resurrection. The assertion that the apostles were all witnesses. Then Paul meets Jesus as well. Could they be the hoaxers? Did Peter and Paul and maybe John get together and make this whole thing up? Nothing seems plausible.

At the end of the day you have Jesus and He cannot be made sense of any way except that He is God. You cannot even imagine another explanation. No previously undiscovered super-intelligent alien race could have made Him up. He is too human. He knows us too deeply. All you really can do is look away or not think about Him too hard. If you really contemplate the totality of Jesus He does become the proof that God exists. Not only does He exist but He is with us.

That is why Christmas matters. God is with us. We don't have to go looking for evidence here and there. He came to earth and changed the world forever.

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