To do them justice, the people who crucified Jesus did not do so because he was a bore. Quite the contrary; he was too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. Dorothy Sayers*
This is a theme that has grabbed hold of me through the years. Whether it was the old Larry Norman - Outlaw Song, or Mr. Beaver telling the children that Aslan is not a tame lion, or the "wild Messiah" of reJesus (Frost and Hirsch), or the more recent Beautiful Outlaw book - it is so obvious that we try to tame, domesticate, diminish, de-radicalize, and water down the ferocity of love of this daring prophet, Son of God.
When Jesus is saccharine sweet - Christianity is boring.
When Jesus is safe - Christianity is blandly predictable.
When Jesus is nothing more than the latest version of a tolerant liberally minded, vague do-gooder - Christianity is just one more option among many.
While that is what we do as 21st century dwellers.
That is not what ANYONE did in the First Century.
Jesus challenged every spiritual option that was not his Way-Truth-Life,
he opposed the religious status quo at every turn,
he powerfully preached and fullness of God's beautiful kingdom,
he exposed every wrong motive, misguided end, and dubious means to get there,
he rebuked, exhorted, corrected, and chastised all that was dysfunctional in religion, and all that was superficial as well.
So they killed him.
Like they have always killed the prophets and mystics who were in tune with the deep and true realities of God.
To their vast amazement and befuddlement - this time, they couldn't keep Him dead.
He is still Alive.
He is still interrupting, still interfering, still disturbing, still upsetting the tables of distorted spirituality. So he can invite us to share in the dangerous abundance of his kingdom, and the joyful but always risky journey of being his missional friends who change the world in his Name.
It will be far better for you to reject the wild Messiah than to live with one you have domesticated. For once domesticated, your Savior has become a pet house-cat and not the majestic Aslan. I would rather we hang on for dear life and ride the Lion of Judah where he will take us.
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International
*Quoted in Beautiful Outlaw, John Eldredge, pp. 92