Summary: What can motivate a modern, educated, scientific minded people like us believe in the ressurection?
John 20: 1-18
Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Why do we believe in such an event? What can motivate a modern, educated, scientific minded people like us to first of all believe in an immortal and all powerful God, then believe that this God became a person yet remained and immortal and all powerful God, and that this Person / God died at our hands and then came back to life?
I think that the answer lies deep within us from that place deep inside that we call the heart or soul. It is here that something tugs at us to use all our reason and understanding to question the meaning of life and death. We all ask ourselves questions such as; is there purpose for my life? Why do I fill empty, alone? Why do we die? What happens after we die? We know for some reason there has to be more to life than just stuff. We know for some reason we have an empty spot that must be filled and try as we might the world offers nothing to fill the void. We know there has to be purpose for our existence otherwise life is meaningless and void of hope.
These thoughts and struggles are the reason that the overwhelming majority of all people believe that there something beyond death and we seek to answer this desire and fill this void about what lies ahead. And we find the answer not by our own accord but because the source of this desire to understand, this small still voice on the inside that reaches out and tugs at each of us to question, to seek, in fact comes from God who has revealed himself to us in order to call us home.
There are those that doubt or even claim not to believe at all. However every doubter and atheist I have encountered in my life I have found that at some level they are troubled by religion and specifically at the mention of Jesus. I am not referring to being offended by the some individual who spews forth the religion of fear, judgment, and damnation for I think all of us are troubled by such actions. I am making reference how doubters and non believers are troubled by those who in their presence practice the patience and love of God in remembrance of and in the name of Jesus. How can that which does not exist cause turmoil? It is because their own heart / soul cry’s out in testimony of the Truth yet they continue to rail against the light and refuse to realize that their own conscience and desire for justice and ethics is not of them but of God.
When we realize this and accept that God speaks to us through our soul we have no difficulty believing in God and trusting in His goodness. We have no difficulty believing that He will reveal His ways and plans to us. We know that God has revealed himself to us for many thousands of years and as Christians we know that He chose to reveal Himself, His love, and His plan for our salvation in and through Jesus. We know this is true for our heart – our soul cries out that it is so. For the Christian our acceptance of this Truth and our surrender of heart to the love of God enables us to grasp and believe the resurrection of Jesus. And that is why we profess and teach this Truth in Sacred Tradition of the Body of Christ – the Scriptures, Creeds, Liturgy, and even in our Art and Music.
So today we recall the resurrection in our Gospel reading and, and we believe. We believe Jesus conquered death. We believe Christ is risen from the grave. But that is not all. We also believe that the resurrection is more than just about Jesus and His resurrection miracle. We believe what He tells us which is through his death and resurrection Jesus overcame death not just for himself but for all of us as well. We believe that His resurrection miracle is also our resurrection miracle. And we proclaim this most wondrous and miraculous gift not only on Easter but in every act of worship of the Church.When we gather for worship we say things like:
"He gave himself freely to death to break the power of death, to shatter the chains of evil, to banish the darkness and to reveal the resurrection."
"Remembering, therefore, the death and resurrection of your Son, we bring you this bread and this cup and celebrate the mystery of our faith.
People: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. or Your death, Lord Jesus, we proclaim! Your resurrection we celebrate! Your return in glory we await."