Why Did Jesus Die?

“Jesus died on a cross so that I could eat Starbursts today.”

I recoiled a bit when I read this status update of a Facebook friend today. I’d known the guy in high school. Not real well, but well enough to know that he wasn’t a friend of Jesus. We went our separate ways when I graduated a year before him, and then through mutual friends on FB, we reconnected in a small way.

“Does he hate Christians now?” This was my first question. I don’t remember him as hostile to Christians. But then, growing up in a small town with the stereotypical “dyed in the wool” believers as we did could certainly have made him hostile. It wouldn’t be an usual story if it was true.

“Is he just being funny?” I remember that he’d always been a clown. Nothing was off limits when it came to making jokes. Maybe he was just being the same irreverent joker I had known from Speech class.

“Is he telling the truth?” This was my last question before leaving his FB page and getting on with my business for the day.

And that’s where my thoughts remain. Perhaps, either wittingly or not, my classmate from long ago was speaking the truth. But what sort of truth? Is it a “truth” as he sees it, has seen it and experiences it still? Could it be a bit of subversive truth? An unwitting bit of prophecy charging the people of God with syncretism or trivialization of the Greatest Story Ever Told? Does he speak as one who has missed the plot or as one who has gotten the plot from muddled narrators?

The only way to get any answers is to ask him.

Do I dare?

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