I never thought I would become a Christian because I couldn’t believe in the Resurrection.
If this is you - then it may be comforting to know that, according to the Bible, Jesus’ first disciples didn’t believe in the Resurrection either.
In fact, Luke writes that some women told the disciples that they had found Jesus’s tomb empty - except for two angels who had told them that Jesus had risen from the dead. And the disciples, hearing this, did not believe the women because what they said, this Resurrection, ‘seemed nonsense.’
But, of course, Luke’s story doesn’t end there.
He tells us how Jesus goes on to appear to all the doubting disciples. And how the disciples are then amazed and perplexed – but still unable to accept what seems literally incredible.
This, I have to say, mirrors my own experience in coming to faith.
At first, I simply didn’t believe. But then, as I responded to Christ’s call to follow Him and I came to know Him – in Church, prayer and reading my Bible – I began to realise that He was going to appear to me and convince me of His reality and aliveness, just as He did to the first disciples.
One of my earliest experiences of the living Christ was when my father died and Christ came to take him home with Him.
And the more I heard and saw Christ in my life, showing me that He was truly alive, the more I could no longer deny His presence. And I moved from disbelief to amazement and perplexity.
Eventually, in Luke, the disciples receive the gift of the Holy Spirit – which is the gift of true faith and hope that Jesus did conquer the grave and is alive today and everywhere.
And, after that, the disciples have the confidence and desire to go out and proclaim what they have experienced and encourage others to find Christ in their lives too.
Again this fits with my personal story.
I too received the gift of the Holy Spirit. And, although I still cannot explain precisely what happened over that first Easter weekend two thousand years ago, I do believe in the Resurrection.
I do believe that something incredible happened that the disciples came to believe. That took them from despair and denying Jesus, from hopelessness, to amazement, perplexity and finally to hope and joy and trust. A trust that they would, and did, stake their lives on.
The story is the same for us as it was for the first disciples.
So, if you are at Stage 1 – at a point of complete disbelief – that’s OK. It’s not my job to convince you.
But, if you nonetheless choose to follow Christ - and commit yourself to Church, prayer and reading the Bible - then you will inevitably come to know Christ. The living Christ. And you will be amazed and perplexed.
But Christ will then give you the gift of His Holy Spirit – and, just like the first disciples, you will be utterly changed.
Don’t live life in despair and hopelessness. Follow Christ and discover for yourself that God is with us in the person of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
And wake up to a new and wonderful adventure in your life.
Posted by Martine Oborne