This morning I read the latter part of the gospel of John; the part depicting the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ. I’ve read this part of the Scriptures many, many times and I already ‘know’ that Christ was tortured, killed and raised from the dead. But the question on my mind right after reading is, do I really believe that Christ is risen from the dead? And by believe, I don’t mean that I give flippant mental ascent to the historical fact that Jesus is resurrected. I mean real belief—belief that causes a real and authentic response. Most of us were raised at least somewhat in church, and were repeatedly told throughout our childhood that “Jesus is the Son of God who died for the sins of the world and raised from the dead on the third day.” Thousands of times our ears have heard this information and our eyes have read these words—and I think we are desensitized to it. I think I’m desensitized to it.
Do I really believe that this man who lived and died 2 millennia before I was even born is alive right now? Do I really believe that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the resurrected Son of God, as he reportedly proclaimed himself to be? I think that I do believe this to be the truth. My heart is deceitfully wicked and complex, just like the Scripture says, and many times I’m not sure what I believe or what is motivating me. But when I get outside of my head and look at the progression of my life over the past couple of years, I think I can say from an objective prospective that I do believe Jesus Christ is the resurrected Son of God. I’m starting to think that God has allowed my wavering assurance to press me into deeper belief. I know that this is like beating a dead horse, and I say it all the time, but I don’t want to just believe in my head. I want to believe the gospel deep in my heart, to the degree that I’m changed—continually. I want my belief in Christ’s resurrection to resurrect me every day. I want to be resurrected out of sin, self centeredness, apathy and fear— and into faith, obedience, joy and bold proclamation of Jesus Christ.
We should really think about what we’re saying when we say that we believe in Jesus Christ—when we say we believe He died for us and has risen from the dead to save us. The resurrected Son of God sovereignly reigning over the entire universe is the most concrete reality that there is, and His followers should live their lives completely based on that reality. If Christ really is forever alive, and if we are united to Him and share His life, our fears of discomfort, persecution, suffering and death should dissipate. Courage and faith should rise up in us to an exponential degree—-causing us to boldly proclaim Him as the only way of life beyond death. The only salvation. The only thing worth living for.
“The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”- Revelation 1:14-18