Cosmic Collisions
 
by Larry D. Wright
 
It was in the dark of the night when the collision occurred. Two figures meeting in the shadows having an intense discussion. As we move in a little closer we discover that they are two rabbis. One is a Pharisee named Nicodemus, of whom we know very little.
 
We know that he was a scholarly rabbi and a member of the prestigious Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court of Judaism composed of seventy distinguished citizens. He appears to be a very important person in Jerusalem’s religious structure. He had impeccable academic and religious credentials, reputation and authority. He was in the inner circle of influence...a power broker with the Romans and an arbiter in matters of religious orthodoxy and social propriety.
 
From all appearances, Nicodemus had everything going for him. Well versed in Jewish tradition and history, he was a religious man who worshipped regularly in the temple and knew full well what it meant to study the scriptures and to practice the disciplines of prayer, fasting and charity.
 
But, as we all know, appearances can be deceiving. It would appear that Nicodemus did not have it so well put together after all. There was a discontent in his soul that must have been quite severe. He had come in the dark of the night to visit with an itinerant preacher from Galilee, which in itself was ironic, considering that his own peers had already dismissed Jesus as a trouble maker and misguided fanatic.
 
Why would such a respected person as Nicodemus be drawn to the person of Jesus Christ? Obviously, something was missing in his well-ordered world. We are not sure why Nicodemus came at night but I feel that it was not because he feared for his reputation but because he had questions upon his bed that caused sleep to evade him. It appears that he had all the knowledge he needed about God, but what he lacked was experiencing God up close and personal. He came with a question, but instead of getting an answer, he received a challenge. He wanted some explanations but received an offer of new life instead. He sought proofs but found before him an open door to greater faith. He wanted religious clarity but Jesus presented to him a far greater mystery than he had ever known.
 
What he experienced was a Cosmic Collision,for whenever and wherever there is Christ, there will be cosmic collisions. This collision encountered the well ordered world of a religious person and challenged him to see beyond the system, above the structure that made his life make sense. The end result of this collision was a man whose system lay shattered but whose heart became alive, full and vibrant. Simply, it was a life changing experience.
 
This proud Pharisee experienced the fullness of God when he realized that his faith was not his own. He was trying to live on the reserves of a heritage that had been passed down to him through the long line of tradition. He had memorized the rules and regulations, had even jumped through all the hoops, but there was nothing personal and full in his experience. And that, friend, will keep you awake at night!
 
While this shadowy encounter took place nearly 2000 years ago, I would suggest that it is still very timely. Our world is full of religious people who come up short because the faith they have is not their own, they borrowed it from someone else. They need to experience a Cosmic Collision where they walk away with more of Jesus than they have even known before.

 

 

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