Once again the exhibits in the museum come alive at night, and comedy and adventure ensue. There is a scene in this, the third Night at the Museum movie, when Sir Lancelot meets himself on stage. The snag is, neither is the real deal. The first Sir Lancelot is only a waxwork dummy come to life, a fact that later becomes all too obvious when his nose starts to melt. The second Lance, the stage actor, quickly declares that he is in fact the movie star Hugh Jackman, and to prove it he does a quick performance of his Wolverine character from the X-men films. A portrayal completely wasted on the waxy Sir Lance who has never seen a movie in his life. As he kicks at the cardboard scenery the wax Sir Lancelot discovers that so much of what he imagined to be real – is not.
It’s easy to get a few wrong ideas about Jesus too. To conjure up a two dimensional waxwork image of him, or to base our understanding on the film portrayals we have seen. The reality is often different. Jesus became a living personality, a three dimensional human who experienced all the realities of life – the struggles, the wonders, the laughter, the pain. He didn’t walk around in a stilted, arms-open pose, or float above the ground wearing a halo and a nighty. Instead he cried as a baby, played as a boy, wrestled with life as a teenager and worked as a man. He sweated and learnt, ate and drank, laughed and cried, and he did his best to earn money under an oppressive regime. Plus he had at least four brothers and two sisters.
He certainly doesn’t belong in a museum. The Bible tells us he is now alive and well and able to understand and sympathise with our struggles and temptations, having faced those realities himself. His time on earth wasn’t a carefully scripted, tidy, two-hour performance. It was God in flesh experiencing reality with all its full, ragged, frustrating, glorious moments. He understands what life is like. He understands us.