Seeing Jesus

10 10 2010

Yes, I freely make my confession– The Lord of the Rings narrative has not only entertained me, but has nourished my heart and soul.  For those of you who can’t stand the books or movies, I beg your indulgence to read this short post.

In The Return of the King, there is the powerful scene where Gandalf places the crown on Aragorn’s head and says,

‘Now come the days of the King, and may they be blessed while the thrones of the Valar endure!’

But when Aragorn arose all that beheld him gazed in silence, for it seemed to them that he was revealed to them now for the first time.  Tall as  the sea-kings of old, he stood above all that were near; ancient of days he seemed and yet in the flower of manhood; and wisdom sat upon his brow, and strength and healing were in his hands, and a light was about him.  And then Faramir cried:  ‘Behold the King!’

This is a description of a fictional king, and yet the vision of him cast by Tolkien’s words pierce my heart and awaken a deep, insatiable longing from within.  Why then, do our thoughts and depictions of the King of kings, Jesus, rarely rise to the level of a work of fiction?!  The age of science and reason has insisted on a realistic and historically accurate Jesus.  A plain reading of Scripture, however, explodes all such silly attempts to produce a manageable Jesus– for such a Jesus leaves us as lost as ever.  What did the demons see at the mere approach of the Nazarene that caused them to plead for mercy before He even spoke a single word of rebuke?  What caused the soldiers in Gethsemane to fall back stunned when Jesus did no more than speak the words, “I am”?  What about what Peter, James and John witnessed on Mount Tabor when Jesus was Transfigured?

This is why I often like to post the Icon of the Resurrection: Jesus strong and valiant, breaking the gates of Hades and grasping the wrists of Adam and Eve and raising them up from the Tombs.  In one fell act Jesus slays death and undoes the stranglehold of Adam’s sin.  For those of you who have been following a domesticated Jesus– be free of your deception!!    For the real King of kings will one day return, at a time we do not expect, and I fear too many who bear His name on their lips will not recognize Him.  May it not be so for me or for you.

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