Now I want to try and do two things at one. I want to encourage you enormously and also give you some powerful tools to share the truth of the resurrection of Jesus.
Why? Because what if you find yourself talking to someone who says “prove the resurrection to me, and don’t just ‘because the bible tells me so’ or ‘because Jesus said he would and did,’”?
I find often that people want to see the effect that Jesus has had on real people’s lives before they’ll listen to his words.
I love the Scriptures because being God’s word, they are powerful enough to smash through the prejudices’ of every era.
Because of this I believe that you can share the truth of the Resurrection with (or at least challenge) someone who refuses to at this point to accept the Words of Christ himself.
But how? By having a good hard look at the incidental reactions of people surrounding Jesus.
Here’s an example:
John 11:1-6 A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. 2 This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. 3 So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.” 4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” 5 So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, 6 he stayed where he was for the next two days……… (Then eventually Jesus leaves with his dsciples don’t forget and they go to Bethany) John 11:20-21 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died……John 11:32-33 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled.
Death. The ultimate enemy. That which brings all to naught. And everyone’s freaking out.
But can you hear what they are saying? “You could have stopped this from happening!” Ever been in a place where you’ve been tempted to say that to God?
But there’s more than this isn’t there? There’s an assumption underneath these cries. There’s a dominating belief that is governing everyone’s attitude in this situation and that belief is:
‘Jesus, you’re too late.’ ‘No one has power over death. I mean yeah our religion talks about future resurrection and all that, but right here, right now? C’mon.’
You’re too late, all is lost
Now, fast forward a few years.
Acts 9:36-42 36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.
Can you see what’s happened? Here we have another follower of Jesus, this time years after the Easter event. She gets sick, she dies and her body even undergoes the first stages of preparation for burial, and (please notice this) After she has died, the believers call the apostle Peter, NOT in spite of her death, but because of it.
They do not cry out for a healing, they expect a resurrection. They do not cry out for a healing, they expect a resurrection.
20-30 pages earlier everyone’s freaking out at finality of death, now when someone dies people be like: “someone get an apostle on phone,” as if it’s the most natural thing to do….who you gonna call? Not Ghostbusters! Jesus’ disciples cos, you know, they do resurrections, right?
What. Has. Happened. Here?
Let me put it another way: can’t accept the resurrection? Fine then, explain to me how and entire community went from thinking it was just a preposterous to expecting it to happen in their midst…..without admitting that Jesus was the Son of God.
Of course it’s obvious to any serious historian what’s happened, it’s simple: The reality of the resurrection redefined the narrative of their lives. In all their little reactions, attitudes and expectations you can see it.
The reality of the resurrection redefined the narrative of their lives.
Has the reality of the resurrection redefined your life? This is the most important question.
You know that you know God, when the cosmic truths of Scripture also become your personal truths.
You know God creates because you’ve experienced his putting you back together. You know Jesus came to earth, because he’s come to you, you know the cross was necessary because you know how hard it is to crucify the sinful nature, you know he rose again because you found new life in him……and you know you you’ll live with him forever because sometimes just occasionally when you pray…..time seems to stand still.
Choose your reality, but choose wisely. The wisest choice begins with this prayer…..Lord, I can’t see, I need you to show me.