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Summary: Easter: Jesus is Risen. Yet can those who suffer from honest skepticism still find room in God’s House?

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A pastor is giving a children’s sermon on Easter Sunday morning. “Can anyone tell me what happened on Easter?” Silence.

The pastor, persisting, asked again politely, “Now I know that someone here knows what happened on Easter a long, long time ago.” Again….total silence.

“Finally, visibly frustrated, the pastor asks more forcefully,

“SOMEBODY PLEASE tell me about Easter Sunday!”

Finally, little Johnny slowly raises his hand. “THEY KILLED JESUS!”

“That’s right,” said the pastor, “And then what?”

“They put him in the ground and he was there for 3 days!” (Johnny spoke with more confidence).

“RIGHT!” the proud pastor affirmed, “and then what?”

“and on Easter morning, Jesus comes out of the ground!”

“Wonderful!” the pastor joyfully agreed.

And then Johnny continues….”And if He sees His shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter……”

********

A lot of people are like little Johnny…they know bits & pieces about the Easter story, but all the details are not all that clear…

Let me read you the actual story…

Matthew 28: 1-20 NIV

People are very hesitant to believe the Easter story?

Aren’t they?

Is it accurate????

Is it credible????

Maybe there are other stories out there???

Gospel of Judas, the DiVinci Code

or other hidden truths being held back by the church...

Or maybe the story is true, but that’s just Christian truth? Aren’t there other valid truths to be explored?

What’s been our typical response to these type of questions in the church?

JUST SHUT UP & BELIEVE WHAT WE SAY!

IF YOU HAD FAITH, YOU’D JUST BELIEVE IT.

I think we (the church) do God a big dis-service when we BIBLE-THUMP like that. Whadayathink?

Jesus was not like that.

In John’s Gospel:

John the Baptist was promoting Jesus:

"Here He is, God’s Passover Lamb."

Two disciples went after Jesus. Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to them, "What are you after?"

They said, "Rabbi" (which means "Teacher"), "where are you staying?" Jesus replies, "Come along and see for yourself."... “Come, follow me.”

Jesus was not a BIBLE THUMPER (scroll knocker)

Jesus was not a TAKE IT or LEAVE IT kind of guy.

Now…don’t mis-understand….

Jesus WAS very clear on what He was telling people.

He was very up front with His claims. Actually, Jesus claims were huge!

CS Lewis…(one of the great thinkers and honest skeptics of the 20th century)

“The things Jesus says are very different from what any other teacher has said. Others say, “This is the truth about the Universe. This is the way you ought to go,”…but Jesus says, “I AM the Truth, the Way, and the Life.”

“In Jesus, there is no half-way house and there is no parallel in other religions. If you had gone to Budda and asked him, “Are you the son of Bramah? He would have said, “My son, you are still in the vale of illusion.” If you had gone to Socrates and asked, “Are you Zeus?” he would have laughed at you. If you had gone to Mohammed and asked, “Are you Allah?” he would first have rent his clothes and then cut your head off. If you had asked Confucius, “Are you heaven?” I think he would have probably replied, “Remarks which are not in accordance with nature are in bad taste.” The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question. In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic suffering from that form of delusion which undermines the whole of man.

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be a Devil of Hell. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit on Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

So…Lewis is right in saying Jesus was very clear on His claims to being the Son of God.

But…Lewis also knew that God allows plenty of room for honest skeptics.

Honest skeptics: Seekers of truth who are intrigued with Jesus and want to hear more.

Psalms 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good.

Here at Father’s House Vineyard we want to reflect this same heart of Jesus. We want to be real with our honest questions before an honest God.

We want to embrace the truth we find in God’s word and embrace Jesus as the very essence of TRUTH…but we also don’t want to be afraid to be like that honest man who said to Jesus….I believe, help my unbelief.

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