What May Be Blocking You from Believing in The Resurrection
By Rev. Anthony L. Trufant
Scripture: Luke 24:33-53, NRSV & MSG
NRSV: That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
MSG: They didn’t waste a minute. They were up and on their way back to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and their friends gathered together, 34 talking away: “It’s really happened! The Master has been raised up — Simon saw him!” 35 Then the two went over everything that happened on the road and how they recognized him when he broke the bread.
All of us are believers in some form or fashion – some of us more than others and others of us barely. I’m not talking about the belief that God exists, loves, guides, protects, and provides for us. Few of us will argue with that. It’s the hard things we have problems wrapping our minds around and embracing wholeheartedly. You may be asking yourself: “To what is Rev alluding?”
For example, the Incarnation: God the Son became one of us to save us; the Atonement: God the Son traded places with us to set us free from the power of sin and to leave breadcrumbs for us to follow the path to letting God into our hearts, even as God wraps his heart around us; and the Resurrection: Jesus came back from the grave to show us love and right is stronger than death and wrong.
To grapple with this, we must not throw logic out the window, but we must appeal to a different form of knowledge: mystery. We will never understand, partially nor fully, some things in life. That does not mean that we should deny their reality nor their relevance. We can know the truth of mystery by conceding that we will never understand why the Lord permits some things, how the Lord uses what’s been permitted, and why God waits so long to work things together for the good. Still, we believe the truth of God because we know his reality, faithfulness, and love personally. And, if that’s not yet good enough for you, that’s understandable, yet regrettable. However, it’s good enough for me and mine.
I have learned some of my hesitancy about sharing my faith was connected to my fear that I would not be taken seriously or that I’d be ridiculed. Contrary to what some may feel, I think that’s a reasonable fear, not a neurotic one. Nevertheless, I’ve concluded over time that my angle on this whole thing has been wrong: It’s not about the person and me, but the Lord is reaching out to the person through me. It’s not about the possibility nor the probability of my being rejected. Still, the real rejection that matters is the failure of the person to sense the Lord speaking through my story into theirs. Likely, I’m not the first, nor will be the last, person God will send to invite the person into greater intimacy, vitality, and utility for the kingdom.
My job, our job, is to tell people what we experienced with God. Then, let the Holy Spirit convince, convict, and convert. Equally important, it’s up to the Holy Spirit, after baptism with water and fire, to challenge the person to grow in and go further for Christ.