I believe in the resurrection. I believe in the power of God to not only show His love by emptying Himself into the form of a man, but also gave us the ultimate victory over death, hell and the grave. I believe in the grace of God to empower all of us to walk in a faith we can’t fully explain, a Lord so majestic we can’t comprehend, in a universe we can only describe as unfathomable.
Scripture tells us the story of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ — a story so incredible that the only way to fully embrace it is by the gift of faith. There’s absolutely no logic to it. It’s regarded by some as a myth, and dismissed as vanity by the skeptic and the bored.
We’re told the story of the bloody cross, the borrowed tomb, and the empty tomb. It’s a story that resonates with all of us — no matter if we believe it or not.
But yes, I believe. I believe in spite of my quest that has pulled me away from fundamentalism. I believe no matter what the Bible says or does not say. I believe, not because I have to or because I’ve studied its doctrines. I believe because God has given me another breath.
I believe because He has taken me from a place where my heart literally stopped as a small child while on an operating table — and yet I live. I believe because the Holy Spirit grabbed hold of me more than twenty years ago, where I gave my life to Him fully. I believe because I know the love, grace, and genuine life that is found in serving Him.
I believe because I’ve seen with my own eyes how that grace takes me through every situation, every trial, every struggle, and every hardship — into a place where I not only overcome, but to complete, total victory.
In short, I believe in the impossible.
The nature of Christianity has changed significantly over the past two millennia, and it continues to change. History is an often ignored teacher in our society. It shows us the scars, the wounds, the wars, and the outright evil of our society — and sometimes of the Church itself. Through it all, though, there’s that remnant of the faithful, those who press on no matter what the world around them says.
These are the men and women who will rescue discarded children to raise them as their own, rather then see them die of exposure — all while being hunted down like rats.
These are people who will stand up against injustice at every turn, protecting those who cannot protect themselves.
These are people who will embrace their faith despite a world that tosses them into a violent arena to be killed for sport.
These are people who embrace their faith in a world devoid of science, knowledge, or understanding — because they believe.
They are people who stand against error in a church institution that dares to sell indulgences as if grace could have a price tag.
They are people who embrace faith while being sold as slaves.
They are people who serve God while being ridiculed by those around them.
They are women who are treated as mere objects in a world dominated by men who worked to refuse them any stature of equality — not even the right to vote.
They are African-Americans who were treated as pariahs in their own town by the white ruling class who forced them to use different doors, different restaurants, different schools, and even different water fountains.
They are gay men and women who push the drive for full equality, despite a culture that frequently pushed to imprison them merely for their love, treated as beasts and dismissed as heathens. They are those who refuse to separate their orientation from their faith, knowing that God intended us to embrace both.
There are remnants of the faithful in all of these different kinds of people throughout history. In every case, they were the oppressed, the belittled, and the damned. Yet through it all, they began to rise up and overcome their struggles, and to live their lives as people of God, and as agents of change.
They stand in the face of the “institution,” and the religious world as a whole. As such, they are the mustard seed.
We are the Davids who stand against the Goliaths of our world, the Gideon who assembles the small band of fighters, and the Marks who find the strength to stand, where we have run away in the past.
What drives us? Faith — Hope — Love. We have faith to persevere, hope that God will carry us through, and love that He gives to us not only for us, but to give to others.
I see this power of the resurrection not as a story to be told, but as a life to be lived. God gave each of us His grace, not only as unmerited favor, but as the power to do what He has called us to do. And that grace is shown in the resurrection.
The resurrection is what caused a small band of Jewish believers to become a driving force in the world today. It is the reason Christianity exists. And it’s the reason we can drive forward.
Like Paul, I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. I’m not perfect, and I have failed in many aspects of my life. But those failures do not hold me back — I will press on. I press on despite my own sins, and my own weaknesses. I press on despite those who stand against me, and those who slander me.
I live without shame, without fear, and without remorse… I live because He lives. I live because I know God is real, and His love for me — and for all of us — is very, very real.
We may never explain it, or never understand it. But one thing is for certain:
Jesus is risen!
Happy Easter, everyone.