Last week the National Geographic Society announced the surfacing of a 1,700-year-old Christian manuscript that includes the “Gospel of Judas.” This “new” gospel portrays Judas not as a traitor, but as a favored disciple and willing supporter of Jesus Christ. Jesus tells Judas in the document that, "you will be cursed by the other generations, and you will come to rule over them.” Scholars agree the document is genuine, and consider it to be the most significant ancient, nonbiblical text found in the past 60 years. However, the study and debate of its relevance and accuracy will rage for years to come. Regardless of this debate, Christians should stand strong about the truth of the Bible and continue to spread its good word.
With the war in Iraq raging, The Da Vinci Code gaining popularity, and Judas receiving new status, Christians are faced with difficult times as Easter approaches. This columnist has a simple response to it all: focus on Him. Jesus Christ died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven and we could live freely for Him. He rose from the dead to - among other things - show his followers that he truly is the Son of God. As Christians, our job this weekend is to meditate on these facts. Although the world is at war, Christianity is under siege, and sin is running rampant in this country, our focus this weekend should be on Jesus’ death and resurrection. Nothing else.
After a weekend of focus on Jesus Christ, we can wake up Monday ready and refreshed to tackle the issues of today. We can step up our prayers and protests of senseless deaths, take a non-believer to The Da Vinci Code movie and explain its myths, and read the “Gospel of Judas” and understand its fallacies. God gave us a head and heart to study, debate, and formulate opinions about worldly issues. He commanded us to shine our light on the world, to pray for friends and foes alike, and to live our best everyday. Resurrection weekend is a time to rekindle our relationship with the Lord. The rest of our days are a time to use the strength of that partnership to make our world a better place.