Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Easter has come and gone. Holy Week, culminating in a magnificent celebration of the One who lived and died, and lived again.

My mind flashed to that heart-warming movie Bridge to Terabithia based on Katherine Paterson's award-winning children’s story. The movie sticks pretty close to the book, and both print and celluloid are guaranteed to leave you in tears. One conversation stays in my mind.

It’s Easter. Jess, his baby sister May Belle, and his best friend - a girl named Leslie - are traveling home in a pickup driven by Jess’ Dad after having left the church service. They begin talking about Jesus and God, death and hell. Jess thinks the whole religion thing is boring but Leslie feels otherwise.

Jess says: "That whole Jesus thing is really interesting, isn't it?"

"What d'you mean?"

"All those people wanting to kill him when he hadn't done anything to hurt them."

She hesitated. "It's really kind of a beautiful story---like Abraham Lincoln or Socrates---or Aslan."

"It ain't beautiful," May Belle broke in. "It's scary. Nailing holes right through somebody's hand."

"May Belle's right." Jess reached down into the deepest pit in his mind. "It's because we're all vile sinners God made Jesus die."

"Do you think that's true?"

He was shocked. "It's in the Bible, Leslie."

She looked at him as if she was going to argue, then seemed to change her mind. "It's crazy, isn't it?" She shook her head. "You have to believe it, but you hate it. I don't have to believe it, and I think it's beautiful." She shook her head again. "It's crazy."

It certainly is crazy. I often wonder why Jesus’ death and resurrection do not grip us as much as they ought. I also wonder if there’s something in the way we profess and live out our faith that has painted something so glorious in so unimaginative hues of dull grey.

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