What would you like? Something to eat, perhaps? How about a cheeseburger? For those with a really robust appetite, a trendy eatery in Pennsylvania now offers a gargantuan cheeseburger made with over ten pounds of ground beef, twenty-five slices of cheese, four sliced tomatoes, and a cup and a quarter of mustard, catsup, and mayo. Hot off the grill, the brute weighs in at fifteen pounds and can easily satisfy ten normal appetites or one really, really big appetite! One thirty dollar cheeseburger coming right up!
What would you like? A good cup of coffee? How about the Impressa F9 coffee maker? Mind you, this is no ordinary Mr. Coffee. In just sixty seconds, this high-tech coffee wizard can grind and brew your favorite espresso, latte, cappuccino, or other delicious coffee beverages with just a touch of a button! And if the flavor doesn't wow you, the machine's twenty-four carat gold plating most certainly will, but don't delay, for at $3,999.00 plus shipping, these babies won't last long!
What would you like? A quick weekend getaway? You may as well go in style in Lamborghini's new Garrado sports car. With a 192 mph top speed, your friendly insurance agent may think twice about renewing your liability coverage, but with 0-60 mph capabilities in a mere 4.2 seconds, you could probably outrun the highway patrolfor that matter, you might even outrun the U.S. Air Force! Of course, all this luscious speed doesn't come cheap, but if you have $185,000 to spare, there is a Lamborghini waiting for you! Makes a nice gift, too.
We no longer live in a chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry world. Believe it or not, I recently found a website offering lemon dill pickle ice creamand the recipe's creator says it is absolutely delicious! Whether or not it is truly delicious, I'll never know, but what I do know is that you can find about anything you want according to your own personal likes and needs.
So how about a religion that is just right for you? How about a religion that is guilt-free, makes no demands, and is not encumbered with a lot of bothersome do's and don'ts? It is out there, just as I have described, but is religion something to be chosen like a favorite flavor of ice cream?
There are a lot of voices vying for our attention, so why should anyone consider Jesus above, say, Muhammad or Confucius or Charles Taze Russell or Joseph Smith? After all, don't all roads lead to Heaven? Aren't all religions basically the same? The truth is all roads do not lead to Heaven just as all roads do not lead to my driveway.
Jesus alone speaks with the imprimatur of God because Jesus alone conquered death. Muhammad, Confucius, and the others molder in their graves to this very day, but Jesus, by His own power, walked away from the tomb three days after dying on a cruel Roman cross. Anyone with power over death deserves our attention. Anyone with power over death deserves to be heard.
And the evidence supporting the resurrection of Jesus is overwhelming. First, there were over five hundred eye-witnesses of the risen Christ! That is a lot of eye-witnesses. Five hundred voices cannot be ignored. There is also the matter of the empty tomb; the enemies of Jesus could have easily stopped all talk of the resurrection by producing His dead, decaying bodybut there was no dead body for them to produce! The tomb was empty! Could the disciples have stolen His body? Hardly. To prevent such a contingency, the tomb of Jesus had been heavily guarded by armed soldiers. Considering His closest followers had fled in fear at His arrest and crucifixion, it is most unlikely this ragtag band of frightened fishermen would have gone head to head against trained, professional soldiers. The simple fact is that the resurrection of Jesus cannot be explained away!
Again, anyone who has power over death deserves to be heard. Jesus proved His power over death, therefore, we need to hear what He says. Jesus claims to be the only way to salvation. He is not a way; He is not one of many ways, but Jesus is the way.
And this same Jesus says, "Come to me all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest." This is a tough world and life is difficult. Most of us are pretty well bruised and battle-scarred. Agree? So what do you want? Restoration or mere religion? A living Savior or one of many dead prophets? A meaningful relationship or more empty rituals?
Dr. Michael Blunk is a staff writer for an apologetics ministry and serves full time as a chaplain with Wayside Christian Mission. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org