Indiana Jones. Just the mention of his name, for most of us in the western hemisphere, starts the trumpets playing his theme song in our heads. That name conjures up images of exciting, heroic adventures, too. Adventures where good triumphs over evil; where the uncovering of ancient artifacts, from history and legend, meet twentieth century science and technology.
I recall from the third installment, entitled Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, a plot in which Dr. Jones found himself, again, pitted against the evils of the Nazi regime. You’ll recall, if you’re familiar with this film series, that Hitler’s officers had failed to retrieve for him the Ark-of-the-Covenant in the first motion picture, and now Hitler is after the Holy Grail — the very cup of Christ. Why? He believes Christ’s cup will grant, to whomever drinks from it, eternal life.
Indiana Jones (played by Harrison Ford) is fooled into working with the Nazi’s, by a beautiful young scientist named Dr. Elsa Schneider (played by Alison Doody). In the end, it’s Dr. Jones and his father (played by Sean Connery), also a famous archaeologist, who ends up leading the Nazi’s to the chamber where the Holy Grail has been kept hidden almost two-thousand years. Upon entering this chamber they are greeted by a royal guardian (played by Robert Eddison) too old to fight, but clever enough to hide the holy cup amongst many interesting looking vessels. He looks to his young visitors and bids them choose wisely, for to do so will mean life or death.
As the climax of this plot unfolds, we see one of the Nazi representatives (played by Julian Glover) selecting foolishly and drinking from one of the many chalices of death, represented in the chamber. Then Indie gets his turn. Dr. Jones, carefully ponders the things of Christ and chooses wisely. Indiana ultimately enables himself, and his father, to drink from the cup of eternal life. A great metaphor for what you and I, and really all of humanity, are called to do every day we live. Choose to live according to the truth that brings eternal life, or dare to choose to live according to the many lies that lead to death.
In this study, called Truth or Dare, we will be examining the various chalices that mankind may choose to drink from while searching out eternal life. Most of these chalices will be full of deadly lies, but one — yes, only one — will hold the life giving truths that will lead us to abundant, eternal living.
This brings to mind the childhood game, also known as, Truth or Dare. For those of you unfamiliar with this game, I’ll take a moment to explain it to you. Children would gather and select an arbitrator. Once selected, the appointed leader would challenge each child to either tell a secret truth about themselves or act out a dare dictated to them by the arbitrator of the game. I was always amazed at how scared kids would be to tell a truth about themselves, myself included, but equally amazed at how quickly they would choose the dare, only to regret it later once they learned how diabolical the dare was. Occasionally the arbitrator was kind and dealt out easy dares to accomplish, but many more times the dares were border line criminal and down right immoral. Such too is life.
Humanity is presented with this very same dilemma, on a daily basis. The dilemma? To choose to believe, and speak, the truth of Christ to the rest of humanity or choose to know of the truth, and hide it. The problem with that is, if we don’t choose to confess the truth of Christ before mankind then Christ won’t confess He knows us, on Judgement Day, before God the Father (Matthew 10:32). True faith in Christ equals our obedience to His commands.
The third option that humanity can embrace is to partake in the dares that Satan dictates to them, then eternal death becomes mankind’s destiny. That choice dulls our spiritual senses, forcing us to look death in the face and act as if nothing is wrong; as if all is right and normal. Those that make this choice act on the lie that truth is relevant to their own wants and desires. They accept Satan’s lie that says absolute truth is really the biggest falsehood of the ages. The one really big problem with that — you can’t make the truth go away, and escape it’s consequences, by simply choosing to not believe in it.
You see, just like the Nazi from The Last Crusade believed he chose correctly, so too do many of us choose daring lifestyles, philosophies, and theologies. We whole heartedly believe that we have chosen correctly, only finding out after the fact that we have chosen “poorly,” as the knight from the movie stated, and then death takes us away. It’s imperative that we take the time to study what really is the truth. We must do as Indiana Jones did, and ponder the truth of Christ, and make the wise choice. The choice that will lead us to living an abundant and eternal life. The type of life we, as God’s creation, were meant to enjoy; the life of a true worshiper.
So I ask you to join me in examining the various chalices of our lives. Such vessels as life styles, religion, philosophy, and science (to name a few). Looking them over, one-by-one, and allowing the truth that is the real cup of Christ to illuminate our minds, bodies, and souls. In the end, I trust you will have chosen to drink from the grail that leads to eternal life — the true, holy cup of Jesus Christ.
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