What items are found in the Treasure Chest of Christianity?

God is not dead. Indeed, God is very much alive. However, the conversation about God is dead. Killing the conversation about God is tantamount to killing God. The enemies of the Church know this. The Church does not.

By failing to include God in the conversation, God has become a stranger to us. We do not know him. And nobody follows a stranger. Fewer and fewer are going to Church. Nobody is going to confession. Churches are withering and dying. 

To reverse the trend, the Church needs to open the treasure chest of Christianity, take out the treasure and share it with the children of Adam and Eve.

In the treasure chest is knowledge of God.

What particular items are found in the treasure chest of Christianity?

Jesus is the extraordinary fruit of a process through which the children of Adam and Eve also pass during their lives in godlessness . The process is baptism in the boiling cauldron of pain and suffering. All of humanity to a greater or a lesser degree experiences this baptism. There is no escape. It cannot be bypassed. When a person is run through the process, the process ordinarily grinds him up and obliterates him. The process is the source of all of the complaints about God's plan to rescue us from godlessness and return us to paradise. Passage through the process is meant to shatter the illusion conjured up by the serpent that sugarcoats the sourness of godlessnes. Passage through the process is meant to inspire an antipathy for godlessness in the children of Adam and Eve. This antipathy will cause them to keep the gift of paradise when it is delivered to them. They will not abdicate the gift of paradise for godlessness as Adam did, as Eve did, as Lucifer did and as the gaggle of angels who follow Lucifer did. They will know bettter. Like the prodigal son, they will not return to the pig sty . With the Son of God, however, passage through the process is meant to generate a different effect. His passage through the process is meant to reveal the nature of God to us . His passage through the process is meant to shatter the illusion conjured up by the serpent that camouflages the sweetness of paradise from us. We tortured and killed Jesus. He suffered and died. Death ought to have marked the end of the story. He was finished. Done. It was over. Ordinarily, nothing emerges from the black hole of death. Never. This time, however, something did. He emerged from the black hole of death alive and with his most sacred heart still filled to the brim with love for us. Wow! He died but he did not stay dead and he did not stop loving us. The evil we did to him ought to have, at the very least, pissed him off. It ought to have provoked his natural instinct for justice. It ought to have triggered his reflex for revenge, retailiation and retribution. It ought to have transformed him into a misanthropic monster - into the God who hates us. When the fuse is lit, the bomb ordinarily explodes. But, remarkably, it did not. The fuse worked but the bomb was a dud . The evil we did to him did not extinguish his love for us or reduce it by even the slightest degree . God let us get away with murder - with deicide . Jesus is the most extraordinary fruit of the evil process through which we put him. He is a result of the process that is so rare that it is quite possibly unique. Like a unicorn, the result is not ordinarily found in nature. Jesus is one of a kind - sui generis. He is mercy not justice. He is forgiveness not revenge, retaliation or retribution. Our God still loves us even though we tortured and killed him. Wow! What a wonderful God is our God! What a delight!

The God who fashioned us out of the mud with his hands put himself into the hands of the mud to hand deliver two items to the mud: 1) a love note at Bethlehem and 2) a guarantee of its genuineness at Calvary.

The word of God was a love note - a love note from God to us. Furthermore, the Son of God wrote his message of love in the ink of suffering. The ink of suffering put into our hands a guarantee that the love note was genuine. If the love note were counterfeit, his love for us would have faded as we tortured him and died when we killed him. But it did not. It survived. Its survival is the guarantee that the love note is genuine.

Like foolish children, Adam and Eve ran away from their home with God in paradise and took us with them into godlessness. Godlessness sucks. We were in trouble. We needed help. So the Son of God dove into godlessness after us to rescue us. He did not delegate the job to his subordinates. He did not send his flunkies. The Son of God did the job himself. Thanks be to God. None shall perish because our rescuer is the God who loves us. God does not fail. God does not come up short. God does not miss the mark. The only people not rescued are the fools who refuse to be rescued - those who tell God to bugger off.

Nobody signs up to dive headfirst or, for that matter, even dip his toe into the boiling cauldron of suffering unless they are insane or something important outweighs the exorbitant cost of suffering. All creatures who suffer understand this. Suffering is our native tongue. We understand that suffering is an exorbitant cost we only willingly pay for something that is extremely dear to us. Jesus paid the exorbitant cost because we are extremely dear to Him.

God had something to say to us. God had something important to tell us. The message God desired to transmit to us is that God loves us dearly. The message was so important that God involved himself in 1) the message, 2) its delivery and 3) in its guarantee.

The very purpose of the exercise was to reveal the nature of God to us.

The revelation consists of three parts. The first part is the prefix. The second part is the suffix. The third part is the connection between the prefix and the suffix. Each of the three parts conveys meaning. The prefix is 'We tortured and killed him. He suffered and died." The prefix is the boiling cauldron of suffering into which we baptized him. The prefix of the revelation gives us a measure of the magnitude of the suffix. The prefix magnifies the suffix. It amplifies it. It makes the suffix extraordinary. Without the prefix, the suffix is ho hum. With the prefix, the suffix is sublime. Therefore, when you articulate the revelation make sure you articulate each of its three parts. "We tortured and killed him. He suffered and died. Yet, he did not stay dead and he did not stop loving us." This is the revelation squeezed into the smallest space - just twenty-two (22) words. Wow!

On the canvas of Calvary in the pigment of suffering, the Son of God painted a self-portrait of the nature of God. The self-portrait is a high fidelity representation of God. No representation made by human hands equals its fidelity.

At Bethlehen, the Son of God himself personally hand delivered to us a love note. Imagine. A love note from God to us. It was the most unusual of love notes. It was not just cold ink written on dead paper. It was the word of God written on life itself. It lived and breath. The love note took the form of a baby born in the most humble of circumstances.

The God who fashioned us out of the mud with his hands put himself into the hands of the mud to deliver the message to the mud that Jesus is the God who loves them dearly

The yeast of divinity came to leaven the mud of humanity with the knowledge of God.

God descended from the penthouse of heaven to the basement of earth to pay us a visit. He paid us a visit not on a level above us as befits a god but on the same level as us - an equal to us in our humanity - a partner with us in our suffering. He wanted to make sure there was no misunderstanding of his message. So he did not communicate with us in the language of the angels. He spoke to us in the language of suffering. Creatures who suffer understand the language of suffering. It is our native tongue.

The Crucifixion was a collision between good and evil. It was bigger than the Big Bang. It was larger than the Large Hadron Collider. The byproducts of the collision revealed the nature of God. We tortured and killed him. He suffered and died. The first byproduct was that He did not stay dead. The second byproduct was that He did not stop loving us. That he did not stay dead revealed that Jesus is God. That he did not stop loving us revealed that divinity is love. No collision; no revelation.

We launched a freight train of evil toward him. He saw it coming. Remarkably, He stood in its path. He did not flinch. He did not cower. He did not jump out of the way. Good and evil collided. He took evil on the chin. He stood firm and, by standing firm, stopped evil's progress dead in its tracks. The serpent's plan failed. Evil hit a wall. The wall that evil hit was Jesus. The bloody wounds mark the line that the Son of God drew in the sand. At his bloody wounds, evil was stopped short of its objective. Its objective was to extinguish God's love for us. It was not allowed to reach its destination. Jesus allowed it to progress so far and no farther. Jesus did not allow evil to reach his most sacred heart. He did not let evil empty his most sacred heart of his love for us or let evil drain it of a single drop.

We hung him from a tree like a piƱata. We beat him to a bloody pulp with sticks. We exposed his sacred heart for the world to see. Behold it stayed filled to the brim with love for us. Not a drop was spilled. Buckets of blood spilled through the wounds we opened in his body. But not a drop of his love for us spilled.

We impaled him on the sharp hook of salvation while He was human, alive, tender, vulnerable and our guest here upon the earth. We impaled him with the same insouciance as the fisherman who impales a worm on the hook. He suffered and died. Yet, he did not stay dead and he did not stop loving us. Wow!

The dial that controls his love for us is in his hands not ours. Moreover, it is set to the highest degree and is locked in place.

Between the evil we do to him and his love for us is a firewall. The firewall disconnects the evil we do to him from his love for us. it makes them independent of each other. The firewall is the will of God. He refuses to let the evil we do to him to extinguish the bonfire of love for us that burns in his most sacred heart or reduce it by even the slightest degree.

We lit the fuse of the bomb. We pressed down on the plunger of the detonator. We tortured and killed him. The boiling cauldron of suffering into which we baptized him (Matthew 3:13-17) ought to, at the very least, have pissed him off. It ought to have triggered his reflex for revenge, retaliation and retribution. The normal pattern of cause and effect ought to have held true. Our wickedness toward him ought to have produced a God who hates us. The bomb ought to have exploded. However, it did not. The bomb was a dud. Thanks be to God (Isaiah 55:8-9). We killed him but He did not stay dead. We tortured him but He did not stop loving us. In addition, He did not revoke the invitation to follow him back to our home in paradise. Furthermore, He did not confiscate the knowledge of God that he had distributed to us during his life. He let us keep it.

What ingredient makes paradise sweet? The omnipotence of God or God's love for us? Think about the possibilities. He could be omnipotent and hate us. At Calvary, we tortured and killed him - more than sufficient reason for God to hate us. Or, He could be omnipotent and love us. At, Calvary, we tortured and killed him yet he refused to let our evil extinguish the bonfire of love that burns for us in his most sacred heart. Wow! Therefore, it is not omnipotence that makes paradise sweet. God's love for us makes paradise sweet. Omnipotence gives love the ability to be radically generous to the children of Adam and Eve. Arising from God's love for us is his radical generosity to us. His generosity is radical because he loves us dearly and he can afford it.

The revelation that the Son of God made to us during his visit consists of two components: 1) the message and 2) the guarantee of the genuineness of the message. We tortured and killed him. He suffered and died. This is the guaranteee of the message. That which survived the evil baptism in which we immersed him is the message. He did not stay dead and he did not stop loving us. That Jesus did not stay dead is the proof that he is God. That Jesus did not stop loving us is the proof that divinity is love.

The Son of God let us impale him on the sharp hook of salvation while he was human, alive, tender, vulnerable and our guest upon the earth so the Church could cast him into the cesspools of sin to fish for the children of Adam and Eve.