GodReflection: Tenacious Trust
In my church tribe we hold high Jesus’ crucifixion with its total and complete power to atone for sin and reunite the fallen with the Creator—and well we should. Every first day of the week when we assemble as a body of believers we celebrate anew with emblems to remind us of God’s redeeming work.
What we probably don’t converse about as much is the power of the resurrection. In my own mind I’ve found that it is the resurrection that plays the greatest role in my trust journey.
The crucifixion weekend was a wimpy weekend for Jesus’ followers. In a period of twenty-four hours the belief and hope of the disciples evaporated. Both belief and hope were killed on a cross and buried—they thought forever—in a tomb.
They couldn’t hide quickly enough from Roman soldiers and Temple officials. Behind locked doors surely their conversation centered on “what are we going to do now? How could we have been so wrong”?
Scripture wasn’t enough to sustain their belief. Hope died. That’s one to think about. In their darkest hour not even God’s promises were enough to fill in their blanks.
Then a slight crack opened in their wall of despair. It wasn’t large enough to let in more than the tinniest sliver of light.
A woman reported an encounter with Jesus and he was alive. But, who could believe fully in the word of someone as low as a woman on the first century food chain? No one before Jesus gave dignity to women.
The empty tomb was examined and sightings continued to occur.
First Jesus appeared to his eleven remaining inner circle guys and eventually to over five hundred people. He spent an additional forty days to demonstrate his living resurrected body, to encourage and to instruct.
Then, with the eleven present Jesus assured them of his continual presence through the Holy Spirit and they watched him ascend through the clouds as he returned to Father God.
It was the resurrection that changed everything.
All timidity was gone. Trust was total. The apostles no longer ran. They stood.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, all of
Paul’s letters, James, and The Revelation all stand as eye-witness accounts of the risen Jesus.
More than any other topic the resurrection of Jesus stands at the core of every letter from the Apostle Paul. In my judgement the reality of the resurrection stood as the foundation of the Apostle’s tenacious trust in Jesus and his confidence in eternal life as he walked in the reality of his presence.
I read over his shoulder as he shares his convictions of the power of the resurrection:
God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also (1 Corinthians 6:14).
If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith (1 Corinthians 15:14).
If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins (1 Corinthians 15:17).
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel (2 Timothy 2:8).
My challenge is to maintain the reality and power of Jesus’ resurrection as the core from which all of life is lived.
Just as creation reminds me to trust God who created all and who continues to oversee His eternal purpose, so the resurrection invites me to be a player with the Holy in His purpose rather than live under the destruction of Satan.
That is a reality we can trust tenaciously, don’t you think?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Resurrection Builds Trust.