For ten days we walked around important historical sites in Israel, retracing the steps of biblical heroes and especially remembering the life of Jesus. In many places there would be two or three shrines near each other, each claiming to be the exact spot where some biblical event took place. It didn’t really matter to me if an event happened 100 feet to the left or the right, it was just amazing to stand near locations mentioned in the Bible.
Perhaps the most moving spot we visited was the Garden Tomb, which British evangelicals believe is the actual burial site of Jesus, as opposed to the more famous site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. As we listened to the Scottish tour guide share why they think this site more closely matched the Biblical narrative, he said something I will never forget: “In the end, it is not the place that matters, but the Person. Christ died for us, and if we do not accept Him as Savior, we will have missed the entire point of His life and ministry.”
In that one sentence I felt like a multitude of questions asked through the ages by theologians and skeptics alike were answered. There will always be some piece of theology we can’t agree on or some timeline of eschatology that different groups squabble about. But the main point of the Bible is Jesus – the Redeemer, the Savior, the Salvation of mankind. When our petty differences and arguments take our eyes off of Jesus, we can easily miss the point of the very faith we are trying to defend.
This Easter let’s focus on Who Jesus is and what His life, death and resurrection mean to us. Let’s take our attention off the times we have been hurt by another Christian or the times we disagreed with a pastor or theologian. Let’s get our eyes back on Jesus and let Him be the center and focus of our faith. It’s the Person who matters, and His name is Jesus!
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett serves as the executive director of the Baptist Convention of New England.