Do You Really Believe That?
He has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. Acts 17:31
A while back, I caught part of a TV special on a religion that is apparently popular in Hollywood. It was all very bizarre and sounded very much like a bunch of whacky stuff someone simply made up to manipulate others. It’s difficult to believe that any reasonably intelligent person could actually believe that stuff.
If I could look at Christianity for the first time though, I’d probably have similar thoughts. Do you really believe that? This is the reaction that Paul got in today’s passage when he told the Athenians of Christ’s death and resurrection. Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked (Acts 17:32). Paul though, insisted that it was the reality of Jesus’ return to life that provides the assurance that we too can know the transforming grace and mercy of God.
Though it may sound strange to those who don’t believe or those who’ve never heard, Christ’s resurrection is a central belief to those who follow him. It is the evidence that he is the son of God and it is because of his new life, that we also may have a new life.
If I had to try to convince anyone else of why I believed in Christianity, the best evidence I could provide, would be that of my own new life. I’m not saying that I’m a great example because I’m so perfect. I still have struggles. I still fail. I would point to my life just a few years ago though, and I would say that once, I was drowning in the disaster of my way. Then, I repented to follow Christ. In following, I’ve come to know the profound transformation of the new life that is only available because of his resurrection. The one who came back to life has brought me back to life.
The problem for a lot of us, is that though we believe in Jesus’ resurrection, we’ve not yet allowed him to transform us. We still simply follow our own way. If we truly believe in the new life, then we must daily abandon ourselves so we may follow it. Our own transformation will be the best argument we’ll ever have to convince others of what we believe.