(photo courtesy: google images)
“Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.”- Mark 16:14 (NIV)
We have lost some great artists in the past year or two. Robin Williams, who made so many people laugh and cry, left this world due to his unfortunate battle with mental illness. We have all heard the news that David Bowie, a legend of music and artistry, lost the battle with cancer. The rock legend, Lemmy Kilimister, also lost his battle to cancer.
In some way, shape, or form we have all been influenced by one, if not all, of these men. There are probably others who have influenced your life I did not mention, but either way, icons who influenced culture left this world.
The reality is, for at least a week or two after the passing, people will reflect on the life of the individual. They will remember the first movie or song they heard from that artist and reflect on the memory. They will recall how important that individual was to them, but then as time fades, they won’t really mention them until the anniversary of their life comes around, even then that will gradually be forgotten.
I remember when Michael Jackson passed. I was distraught, don’t judge me, but I was seriously sad. His music was great to me and I remembered watching all of his music videos and recognizing how amazing he was. I talked about it for days. Now, if I hear a song of his, I’ll reflect on his influence, but it will be a quick pass. I moved on.
We all do.
There is one icon who didn’t die (not Tupac) and we haven't moved on from or He hasn't moved on from us.
This is how you can rest on the truth of Jesus. We have all experienced human nature in this way. We are sad for a bit of time when someone passes, but overtime we tend to let them slip. We have to watch a video to remember their voice or look at pictures to remember what they looked like. We have to go to their grave site to reflect on who they were to us. We need special times to bring their memory to the surface.
This is not so with Jesus. Why?
The disciples witnessed His death. They saw Him get buried. They watched as the world moved on without Him.
Then, suddenly, He appeared again. He revealed to His friends and others that He had defeated death. This is the story the disciples shared. They could not help but to share the miracle of Jesus conquering the grave.
They kept the story alive because it was truth!
If He did not come back, then human nature would have kicked in. They would have moved on with their lives, and visited the site He was killed on, and remembered the "good ol’ days" and the influence He had on them.
Actually, if He did not return, they probably would have looked at Him as a liar and never visited His grave again. Think about your feelings about a parent or grandparent or sibling you hold a grudge with, why would they be any different than you not wanting to see them? They devoted their life to following this man who claimed to be God and if He did not return after dying like He promised, then why would they forgive that?
You see, icons pass. They have huge influence in our lives and move us to do great things or pursue dreams, but sooner or later we forget. The generations after us will lose their connection with them and sooner or later, their iconic status fades.
Jesus has continued to move forward through generation to generation for over 2000 years!
Why? Because He is alive! This icon came back. This icon continues to reveal His self to people and breathes life into each and every person who welcomes Him in.
When human icons die, they fade, but when murder is attempted on Truth, He will rise and continue to move forever.
Jesus was beyond any icon, He was and is God. He lived for us, died for us, and came back for us. He is our Savior whose story will last forever and never fade in any generation and will only continue to grow even after His return.
May we respect the people who influenced culture and their lives that are lost, but may we honor and praise the One who created culture and gives life to those who are lost!
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What celebrity or individual has had an influence on your life?