Celebrate the controversial Christ

Published 6:46 am Saturday, March 31, 2018

By Bobby Tingle

Singer and songwriter Michael Card wrote and recorded these words in his song Scandalon:

“He will be the truth that will offend them one and all
A stone that makes men stumble
And a rock that makes them fall
Many will be broken so that He can make them whole
And many will be crushed and lose their own soul”

Christians across the globe will be celebrating Jesus of Nazareth in Easter celebrations this weekend.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey He fulfilled the prophecy found in Zechariah 9:9.

“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
    righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

His triumphal entry was celebrated as his followers lined the rode with palm branches shouting praises and blessings to Him.

Jesus of Nazareth would soon suffer the pain and humiliation of His death on the cross. His followers expected Him to be crowned their king.

Instead his followers labeled him a skandalon or stumbling block.

Jesus Christ was controversial then and now. His followers had their hopes dashed when they witnessed His death on the cross. His followers began to understand when they discovered His resurrection.

His resurrection is celebrated by many and considered a myth by others. According to His followers, He was a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.

He was an equal opportunity offender.

And yet He is celebrated today.

As you enjoy dyed eggs, marshmallow bunnies, ham, potato salad and chocolate pudding remember to take time to reflect on the purpose of our celebration. Assemble with your Christian brothers and sisters and make a joyful noise as His followers did when He entered Jerusalem two thousand years ago.

Although He is controversial He is worth celebrating.

Happy Easter.

Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at bobby.tingle@orangeleader.com.