Friday, May 13, 2011

Jesus and Yuri Gagarin

Matthew 21.1-11

Yuri Gagarin, the Russian cosmonaut, has a number of things in common with Jesus.

Like Jesus, he was treated as a celebrity. After he became famous, crowds of people flocked to see him, wherever he went in the world.

Like Jesus, he blazed a trail on behalf of the whole human race. He was the first person to go into outer space. Jesus went to Jerusalem on a mission to change the course of history by putting human beings right with God.

Like Jesus, he died tragically young. Jesus was probably about 33 when he died, and Yuri Gagarin was 34 when the plane he was testing crashed in mid-flight.

Like Jesus, he was very brave. When he went into space, no one knew for certain whether space ws a safe place for people to be, or whether his tiny spaceship would return safely to earth again. Jesus knew when he rode into Jerusalem that he was facing certain death. But he went willingly because he believed that it was his duty, his calling from God, to die in order to show us just how much God loves us.

Of course, there are also lots of differences between Yuri Gagarin and Jesus. One of them flew planes and spaceships, and the other one was a carpenter. Only one of them is the figurehead of a world religion and only Jesus said and did lots of memorable things.

Space travel has given us the non-stick frying pan, whereas Jesus gives us the opportunity to discover a totally new quality of life. Finally, only Jesus was raised from death by God so that he continues to be with us even today.

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