Clue # 8: The CorpseThis is the most important clue. A body has been found. Why was this person murdered? We have to be homicide detectives to find out. Part Eight of nine.
For an introduction to this series of nine clues, see Clueless.
This is the most important clue I’ll send you. The others – design, beauty, intelligence – helped you discover God is real and personal. The sixth clue, Word, showed you God is communicating with us. The next one showed why we don’t listen.
Homicide detectives have the most serious job of all – catching a killer.
Remember the crime scene – clue #7, our rebellion against God? The whole planet was polluted by it. It gave us a world of “I’m-the-King” wannabes. That’s not the world God picked for us. It’s the world we picked for ourselves – with fighting, hating, lying and abusing. We’re all affected, except for one person. Tragically, He was murdered.
Clue #8 is Corpse. A body has been found. We’ll be homicide detectives this time because we must investigate a murder. Homicide detectives have the most serious job of all – catching a killer. They investigate why a murder happened and what the motive was. They want to bring the murderer to justice. Homicide detectives must be careful to protect the crime scene. They don’t want it contaminated with DNA or fingerprints of uninvolved people. It would be a gross injustice if an innocent person was charged with the crime.
That’s what’s happens at this crime scene. We’ll investigate how the body got there and what happened.
Who was this innocent person – Jesus? He was human, like us, but not like us. How?
He appeared on the planet mysteriously through a miraculous birth with a mother but no father. Most unusual! Angel choirs celebrated His birth, although His family was poor and obscure. Wise men worshipped Him as King even though He was a peasant baby. Very strange.
His life was mysterious too. He taught brilliantly, but He had no education. He explained God and life so clearly, a child could understand. He had supernatural powers – not virtual, but real ones. Out-of-this-world powers.
He used these powers to help others, not Himself. With a word He could command a storm to stop. With a touch He could cure any disease. He could call a dead man back to life instantly. Where did He get these miracle-working powers?
He was a moral miracle too. He never did anything wrong – never! Imagine that! He was totally innocent and pure. He told no lies. Never had a temper-tantrum. Had no lust (women were completely safe with Him.) No fear or guilt. No shame. How could anyone be like this?
There was never anyone like Jesus. He was love. Love flowed out of Him like lava from a volcano. He was God-in-flesh, God-as-a-human, God-in-person. Like the rainbow, He radiated every color of God. All the clues we’ve examined came together in Jesus. The Bible indicates He was the designer, the wise one, the communicator, the lover.
Your search as a spiritual detective has led you to this mysterious person Jesus. We discover Him through the stories of people who knew Him.
What an amazing experience it must have been to meet Him in person! An encounter with Jesus was life-changing for people because He was the best person who ever lived – the Magnificent One!
People trusted Him, followed Him, loved Him (I do too, now). The poor, the widows, the sick, the nobodies – anyone could become His friend. But not everyone wanted to.
Some despised Him – the powerful leaders, for instance. He exposed their hypocrisy; they pretended to be full of light, but were actually dark and dangerous inside. He threatened their power; they lived for themselves using and abusing others. He threatened their lifestyle; He called on them to love and serve instead. If they followed Him, they’d have to change.
Remember – we said the man whose body was found at this crime scene was innocent. That person was Jesus. His enemies conspired together, captured Him and tortured Him. After a quick trial they declared Him guilty, and executed Him. In less than 24 hours they exterminated Him.
This is the most depressing Clue we’ll have, and the most puzzling. An innocent man murdered.
What’s the reason for this homicide? Why did everyone gang up on Him – the religious leaders and the police; the politicians and the military? The crowd – people like you and me – joined them. They all conspired to crush Jesus as if He were road kill. What’s going on?
Even more puzzling, why did Jesus volunteer to die this way? He had supernatural powers. Why didn’t he use His powers to escape? The Bible is clear: Jesus surrendered to the mob. Why choose to die?
He died for the sake of love, the Bible says. What does that mean? That’s our clue – a bloodied, beaten corpse. The best person ever, God-in-flesh, died. Why?
That’s your assignment, spiritual homicide detective that you are, to figure out. We’ll have one more clue – I hope that’s all you need.
Paul Johnson, SHARE, firstname.lastname@example.org, Cell: 403.816.6981.
The nine clues appear as a series of nine articles on Christianity.ca:
Clue #1: Design
Clue #2: Information
Clue #3: Beauty
Clue #4: Complexity
Clue #5: Laws
Clue #6: Word
Clue #7: Scene of the Crime
Clue #8: The Corpse
Clue #9: The Mystery
Originally published on the website, Spiritual Detective Clues, 2009. Reprinted in Baptist Horizon, beginning May/June 2009.
Used with permission. Copyright © 2010 Christianity.ca.