Summary: This message focuses on the response of the disciples to Jesus’ Crucifixion.
Easter 2009: Our Belief Dictate Our Action
Before I say anything else to you, I want to say to each of you this morning, Happy Easter! This is the time of year when we celebrate life. The trees and flowers shake off their slumber and the grass wake up. The birds begin to sing again and there is a smell of spring in the air. But this is also the time when we celebrate the “waking up” of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When Christ rose from what was believed to be His last slumber, not only had His life changed, but also the lives of all those who knew Him and would eventually accept Him which now includes each of us. How Christ handled His last adversity opened the door for us to be able to receive salvation and gave us an imprint of what handling our adversities can look like.
In part one of my message last week, I shared a story with you titled “Carrots, Eggs and Coffee”. In the story a young woman shared with her mother the hard time that she was having. After listening to her daughter, the mother put three pots of water on the stove to boil. In the first pot she placed the carrots; in the second she placed the eggs; and finally in the third the coffee beans. The carrots became soft after going into the water hard and unrelenting. The eggs which had the hard shell and liquid center became hard on the inside. Finally the coffee beans became coffee – changing the water. All faced the same adversity, but only the coffee beans changed the water. Last week I asked you to consider if you were the carrots, the eggs or the coffee beans. This week I want to place one more layer upon your consideration of this question.
I. Believing Is Seeing - Sometimes
When Christ died on the cross everyone thought that His life was over. They believed in their hearts that what they had witnessed and experienced for those three years was over and there was nothing else for them to do. They did not understand that their lives was about to change drastically forever. But what they understood, they believed and what they believed they acted on. You see, whatever we believe will dictate our actions. Let me give you an example. A couple of weeks ago my family and I went to see the movie “Knowing.” The main character in the movie was traumatized after his wife died and he’d lost his belief in almost everything. He took the stance that everything that happened did so by chance and with his belief he stated that there was no way to prove that heaven existed. Well, he acted on what he believed. As the story moved along and he began to see some things (I do not want to ruin it for those of you planning to see it), his beliefs changed which resulted in his actions changing. Think about some of the things you have done in your life. How many times have you acted based on something you believed, even if what you believed was actually later proven to be wrong? You see, it is not always about the truth, but it is always about the belief. This is what is easily identified when we face adversity. Our first response when we face adversity will be based on whatever it is we believe. What we believe will dictate our response.
Think about the story that I referenced earlier. The daughter believed that it was time to give up. She believed that her life would not get better. She wanted to give up because she believed there was no other way for her. Based on what she believed about her situation, she was ready to quit as she was tired. Now let’s examine the mother, the one who gave her daughter an example of how to handle adversity. The mother believed in her heart that her daughter could overcome this period in her life, but she needed a way to make it plain for her. So without saying a word, gave her the demonstration. Had the mother believed that all was lost with her daughter she could have bailed her out. But this would have been a temporary fix. What this mother did was act on the belief that if she could prove to her daughter that it was her that needed to change versus the adversity that would always come, then her daughter’s life would be changed forever because she would see adversity in a totally different light. Both acted on what they believed. We also find a similar response with the disciples when Jesus was taken and crucified.