By Martin | Wednesday, April 17, 2019 | 12:48 PM
Contrary to what our instincts and preconceived notions may tell us, all bizarre news stories do not originate in California. A 3-year-old Nubian goat named Lincoln was elected honorary pet mayor of a small town in Vermont. He bleat out a dog, a cat, and a gerbil named Crystal. The goat obviously spent most of his campaign efforts and meals at the grass roots level.
In parts of China one of the celebrations of the Chinese New Year includes watching a person feed a live snake into his mouth and out through his nose. I did that one time in college with meat loaf . . . unintentionally. A restaurant in Maine is under investigation for attempting to mellow out their lobsters with marijuana. Customers first became suspicious when they walked by the lobster tank and noticed the lobsters were all wearing bandanas and singing Willie Nelson songs. It gives a whole new perspective to the menu item listed as “smoked lobster.”
Religion is not exempt from sometimes carrying the “bizarre” tag. A cheese sandwich sold for $28,000 on eBay several years ago. The owner, and apparently the buyer, thought they could see an image of Jesus in the cheese. I guess they were doing their part of sharing the Gouda News. A Pastor in Oklahoma once claimed to have seen a 900-foot Jesus standing next to his new church being constructed. He used the vision to raise millions of dollars for the project. If any of you love me, I once saw an image of Jesus standing next to a Chevrolet Silverado 4x4 Crew Cab. I think it was red with a tan interior and a full console.
In New York City a small religious group was in a spiritual uproar over what they considered to be a modern miracle. A fishcutter was about to club a 20 lb. carp at the local fish market when he claimed the carp started yelling at him in Hebrew. The fishcutter was upset because the carp had evidently said something derogatory about his mother.
According to the prevailing religious customs and teachings of the time Jesus probably lived what most would consider to be a bizarre life. His mother was a virgin and he was born in a stable. He walked everywhere. He changed water into wine, made the blind see and the lame walk. He touched lepers and commanded demons. He calmed a storm by talking to the wind and the sea. He walked on water. Oh, and by the way . . . he raised a dead man back to life.
He said strange things. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44 NIV) He also said “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3 NIV.) One day he was crucified on a cross. Nothing odd there except he had done no wrong. While he was on the cross he forgave those who put him there. Now that’s different. After three days it really got bizarre. He rose from the dead. No other prophet had ever done that. Then again, no other prophet had been God’s Son.
As strange as it sounds, that’s the story of Easter. God sent His only Son to die for a lost world, including the people who rejected Him. It’s only bizarre because we cannot comprehend that kind of love. Have you heard the one about Jesus and the empty tomb? It may sound like just another bizarre story, but this one is true . . . and it needs to be shared.