Sunday just past I preached on the Shock of the Christ.
The world has always struggled with Jesus. Sure it likes guru Jesus, revolutionary Jesus, and wise Jesus; but it has little stomach for God entering in to the world and incarnating amongst us.
I showed the above video (what from 5.00 in) in which Oprah Winfrey tried to convince her viewing audience that they cannot understand Jesus as god who came to earth to die for our sins. Instead the worlds most powerful woman insisted that we see Jesus as someone who embodied what it is to be human, who taught us ‘christ consciousness’. As Oprah spoke you could almost feel her trying to turn Jesus in to simply an intellectual concept to aid us in our quest to be happy modern consumers. When Jesus is simply a concept, when we perceive him as ‘christ consciousness’, we stay in control. We can mold the idea to suit our styles and lifestyle.
However when we open the Bible and experience the shock of the incarnated God, we struggle to twist Christ to suit our agenda. Instead we are confronted with a God who reduced himself to come and serve, to suffer how we suffer, to be tempted as we are tempted, to walk in our shoes. We follow a God who is holy and just but who also understands our brokenness, our rejection, and our hurt. He is not a God who is distant, He is a God whose path to glory followed the road of suffering. This is the shock of the Christ.