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Monday, November 14, 2005

The Big Jesus

"For many people the message of Jesus was presented as an individual message of salvation for their own individual sin: 'Jesus died for you.' I affirm that wholeheartedly, but in the scriptures, its scope goes in the opposite direction. It begins with the Jesus who dies on the cross and rises from the dead.

"But as the New Testament progresses, you have writers saying that 'by his shed blood he is reconciling everything in heaven and on earth.' Peter says in Acts, 'He will return to restore everything.'"

"There is the perspective of the person who pretends that everything is fine—the shiny, happy people perspective, 'this is the day God has made,' but doesn't seem to acknowledge how bloody and difficult the world is.

"Then there is the deconstructionist voice of despair that says, I see how rough it is and how horrible and hard life is—all they have is commiserating with you.

"Then there is this third category of voices of people who acknowledge how things really are and still have hope. And those are always the people who inspire me so much."

"At the center of the Christian church for thousands of years has been this risen Christ who invites people to trust him; trust him with life, trust him with death, trust him with sin, trust him with future, trust him with hope, trust him with every day. And that this risen Christ transcends dogma and theological systems and denominations and world views.

"If you are desperate to meet this risen Christ, you meet him in a way that destroys any previous categories you had. I keep finding that this Christ, whatever things I've built, destroys them and shows himself to be bigger and wider and deeper and more loving.

"Ultimately you enter into a very real mysticism where you realize that there is this risen Christ who changes people's lives and the stuff that emerges around him and attaches itself to him, the institutions and whatever, they aren't it. They don't give life. So over the years I've found that everything but the risen Christ fails. It doesn't deliver."

"It would be great if the leaders that are telling everyone that they need to trust Jesus actually did it. I have a wonderful opportunity to actually live what I'm talking about."

The complete interview with Rob Bell

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