Throughout my life, I have to admit I’ve had my doubts about God. Sometimes, I wondered if God even exists. Are we all alone in this universe? Is there a creator out there who made this place or are the atheistic scientists correct that everything could be explained by the big bang theory, not the television show with Sheldon and Leonard. It is the theory that the beginning of the universe was self-started with a big bang.
My sophomore year in Bible College, Dr. Gary Hall was explaining the reasonableness of a Creator God. He went through his proofs and I said, “That doesn’t hold a much water when you think of it.”
At other times I doubted if God cared. It seemed like everything in my life was going upside down and sideways and not in any good way. I doubted God loved me. Often I’ve doubted if God was able to use me.
These kinds of doubts are common to most of us. But, the heartbeat of Christianity is found in THE Garden. Not the Garden of Eden, but in an empty tomb in a garden near Jerusalem. In that garden is the heartbeat of the Christian message, “He is Risen.” These three words literally mean: “to wake up from the dead.” The heart of the Christian faith is not moral teaching. The heart of the Christian faith is not certain philosophy. The heart of the Christian faith is a historical event.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul, a man who once persecuted the Christians then became one, wrote that the most the gospel can be summarized as this: Jesus died for our sins according to the scripture, was buried, and on the third day raise from the dead and he was seen by people. BUT, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins… 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied”— 1 Corinthians 15:17 & 19 (ESV).
So, “He is risen” is a big deal. The most famous doubter in the church is nicknamed Doubting Thomas. Let’s read his story from John 20:24–29 in NIV:
Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; 29 blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
See what happens to Thomas. He moves from honest doubts to total trust. And you can move from honest doubts to total trust. Jesus says there is something a bit better than seeing and then believing. It is believing without seeing. When our faith is faith without sight does not mean that it is faith without reason. It is faith that is shaped by reason but requires much more than just reason; it is a relationship.
What Jesus is saying here is this, “it is possible to move beyond reasonable doubt – without having to see with our own eyes or touch with our own hands.”
There are many reasons to believe in “He is Risen,” let me give you the top four.
1. “He is Risen” because Jesus predicted his death and resurrection (Mark 8:31).
2. “He is Risen” because The Tomb was Empty (Luke 24:3).
3. “He is Risen” was seen by over 500 witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
4. “He is Risen” transformed the Disciples from cowards to courageous witness. (Acts 4:13)
You may continue to wrestle with the idea that Jesus rose from the dead. Could I suggest that you read a book called: A Case for Christ?
On my key ring there is only one key that fits the front door at my home and there is only one key that will open up the door to Heaven for you and me. That is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. What does that personal relationship look like? See what Thomas says in verse 28, “Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” That defines the new relationship with Jesus. He is my Lord, the One who rules me, and my God, the One I worship.
You can listen to the complete message: A Reasonable Doubt: The Resurrection