Easter, or better said, Resurrection Day, passed months ago, but the critical issue that Jesus’ disciples immediately faced is still with us today.
Did Jesus truly rise from the dead? Jesus settled that immediate problem by simply appearing to them in his resurrected body, complete with nail-punctured hands and a gaping, spear-gashed scar in his side. He actually ate food, saying to them, especially Thomas, “Put your finger into the hole in my hands, put your hand into my side for a spirit does not have flesh and bones.”
Then for 40 days following, he appeared to the disciples and to at least 500 in a group meeting, according to the Bible in I Corinthians 15:3-8. But the skepticism and unbelief persisted and still does today. Even those of us who accept his resurrection by faith, we still cannot physically see him.
Yet, the overwhelming theme of the New Testament is the absolutely essential necessity that man believe and accept the resurrection of Jesus as fact in order to receive forgiveness of our sin and eternal life. Why is that God of love demanding what seems, to us, such a hard, impossible task of accepting his bodily resurrection as absolute truth?
When God created the heavens and earth, then created man and put him on the earth with clear instruction as to what he was to do, there was no such thing as untruth/lies — God is and created all of this — that’s it. But then God’s bright, designated guardian angel, Lucifer, wanted God’s power and rebelled and introduced to man the lie when he said to Eve, “Are you sure God told you not to eat of this tree — the tree of life?”
Consider Pilate’s answer to Jesus’ statement in John 18:37-38, “What is truth?” Man had degenerated from Satan’s lie, so now in Jesus’ day, people had trouble recognizing truth.
The Apostle Paul, God’s designated spreader and interpreter of the gospel, spent a lot of his ministry disputing and correcting the false, lying teaching of the opponents of God’s salvation to man.
We fast forward 2000 years. And how is truth viewed today?
There is a way of dealing with the reality of believing that past events really occurred that has been helpful to me. Let’s begin with us — think of significant events that occurred in your life — fights in school, girls you liked and the one you courted and married and the kids who came along later, narrow escapes from death, accidents, life-threatening sicknesses and when you were saved.
Now, are these events true? Did they actually happen? Absolutely, no doubt in your mind! They are history, your history!
History is the record, oral and written, of all the events that have occurred in the existence of God, earth, universe and man. They really did happen and because it is so critical and essential to man’s destiny, God recorded the significant events in our Bible for us to read, understand, accept or reject — man’s choice.
The nitty gritty for today:
You know without a doubt that the events you remember are true; they really happened and some of them shaped your life significantly.
Now God has given us his written history of his creation of the universe, man’s failure and fall from perfection, and God’s plan of man’s redemption. Are you going to believe and accept these historical accounts?
I do believe the biblical records just as I believe the history of events in my life. The Apostle John wrote these words in I John 5:11-13, 20:
“And this is the record, that God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life and he that has not the Son of God has not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.”