Clue #9: The MysteryWhat are we going to do about Jesus? It’s a question that demands our response. Part Nine of nine.
For an introduction to this series of nine clues, see Clueless.
Our last Clue! How long have we been spiritual detectives? Forever, it seems! Our files are full of facts about God now. We learned there’s a God from the design and beauty around us; realized we’re unique – you’re unique! Even your eye retinas are different from anyone else’s.
… in this detective story, like in every good story, there’s a twist.
We peeked into God’s journal, the Bible, and read His deep thoughts, and we stumbled on a corpse, at the scene of a crime. Finding a corpse wouldn’t be any fun. Imagine walking through some woods, enjoying the beauty, the birds, the flowers…. Then stumbling over a dead body! What would we do? Run? Scream? Faint? Maybe all of the above.
And remember, the corpse we discovered in clue #8 was that of an innocent person – the only person on the planet totally decent, totally the way God wanted – pure love, pure truth: Jesus.
Jesus’ story reveals there’s something really wrong with our culture – with the way we humans act. Humans like us ganged up to torture Jesus, so full of light and love! They killed Him in the worst way they could, made sure He was dead, and buried the corpse.
Jesus’ story reveals there’s something wrong with you and me. The poison of evil infects us all. We know what it is to hate others (I do) and even to be cruel toward them. We know how to crush goodness and promote “badness.” But in this detective story, like in every good story, there’s a twist. A “miracle” twist. That’s what Clue #9 is all about – a mysterious twist.
What’s the mystery?
The mystery is that the innocent one who got murdered didn’t stay dead. The corpse came alive! It’s stupendous; unheard of! Jesus is alive! That’s the greatest mystery we’ve got to deal with as detectives – the fact that He was killed and He’s alive! How do we deal with this amazing fact?
Our detective process has made us aware there are lots of “mysteries” around us. Lots of reasons to say, Wow! It’s a mystery that God made us unique. It’s a mystery we’re alive and so complex – breathing, thinking, searching; a mystery why there’s so much evil in our culture and in ourselves; a mystery, how we resist God, oppose others and hurt ourselves. The greater mystery, however, is God’s love.
It’s a mystery He loves each of us personally. Why does God love us while we’re resisting Him and trashing His planet? Hurting and hating others?
We stumble on God’s love just like we stumbled on the corpse – so unexpectedly. God’s love gives and gives, and dies giving. God’s love extends to His enemies! Wow! People couldn’t stand God’s love – the love they saw in Jesus – so they killed Him. It’s an evil mystery that we killed the only good person Jesus.
But He didn't stay dead! When we die, we stay dead. That’s a no-brainer – we all know that. But Jesus didn’t stay dead. Three days after He died, He came alive, just like He promised His followers. His friends were shattered, weeping because of His death. Then He appeared in the room where they were hiding. He terrified them when He appeared; He was so alive!
How did He go from death to life? I can’t answer that. I know this: God alone has the power to make alive and defeat death. For us, death is Public Enemy #1. It captures and kills us. No one survives the final struggle with death. I won’t and you won’t, but Jesus did.
Here's what's important: By coming back to life, He conquered death. Now He’s in control. Our detecting skills lead us to conclude, if He rules over death, He’s God.
Why all of these clues?
The clues, like a set of footprints, lead us to Jesus. They come together in Jesus. As God, He’s the Designer – He made everything, including us. He’s the Beautiful One – none more beautiful than He. Jesus is the Intelligent One, wise enough to keep the whole universe together. He’s the Word – God’s final way of communicating with us. Jesus says His death was God’s way of taking away our sins. He says His new life can give us a fresh start and a new life. All the ways we’ve hurt ourselves, others, the planet, are forgiven! All our rebellion toward God is no more.
The clues help us stop pretending God doesn’t exist, or doesn’t matter. They help us stop trying to be a King-of-the-world wannabe; stop rebelling against God. As detectives, we must do something about Him to solve the mystery. We must stop rebelling and start responding. Start following. We must open our lives to Him.
Your challenge during these last few months has been to solve the mystery and make a decision. The nine clues told you many things:
…there’s a God
…who made you unique
…and loves you
... who sent His son Jesus to the planet
…and died to prove His love for you.
…AND came alive.
Now some self-detecting. Let’s put the magnifying glass on ourselves.
What are we going to do about Jesus? Maybe we’ve stumbled on Him by surprise, like in an “I love you,” written in the sand. We must respond. If Jesus is alive, then He’s in control of death. He’s in control of the universe. Shouldn’t we stop running from Him and give Him control of our life? Shouldn’t we receive His love?
At some point in my life, I surrendered. I let Jesus take control. The clues had led me to Jesus; to His cross; to this corpse that is now the living, divine King of the Universe. And this living, loving Jesus has now come to you. He is calling on you to give Him control of your life.
The final question of Clue #9 The Mystery, is: How should I respond? You must answer that. It’s your mystery now. Say, Yes!
Paul Johnson, SHARE, email@example.com, 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.