It's easier to think of this story as a fable or fairy tale. Fodder for movies, Renaissance paintings and children's picture books, but not a part of the world we live in.
But the crucifixion is a fact of history. God sent his Son to the earth, and evil men put him to death.
Even the resurrection seems out of place in our world, though it fits the season better. Dead people stay dead in our world; the thought that Jesus escaped unscathed from the tomb seems like an unrealistic plot twist.
Yet the resurrection also has its place in history. The two things go together. The cross makes no sense unless the Innocent One lives again. The resurrection receives its power from the sacrificial death that made it necessary.
That's why those things are at the heart of the good news of Jesus. He came to this world, was rejected and killed, then overcame death and the grave. One day he will come again, and God will judge the world through him. Those who have put their faith in Jesus, being born again of water and Spirit, will live with him forever.
It's real. It's true. It's our past, our present and our future.
Jesus' death and resurrection opened the way for us to become children of God, for us to enter into a relationship of confident love with our Heavenly Father. Are you living that sort of relationship with God? If not, I'd love to talk with you about it. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the conversation atwww.hopeforlife.org.