Summary: We have a choice as to what report we will believe concerning the resurrection. Some times like Thomas, we prefer our logic over the testimony of others.
Whose Report Will You Believe---The Resurrection
When you get some news, what determines whether or not you are willing to believe it? How many of us have been hesitant because the news seemed to good to be true? How many of us have rejected it, because it went against what we were hoping for? How many of us have accepted it, because it was just what we wanted to hear?
How many of us have resisted it, because it meant we would have to change what we were already believing? How many of us have accepted it because it would make it easier to get along with others? How many of us have rejected it, because we did not want to change what we were doing?
How we respond to a report should actually depend on the truth of the report itself. Sometimes truth brings joy. Sometimes it brings tears and agony. Sometime it brings hope, and sometimes it brings despair. Though we may like to think truth depends on what we believe, truth is truth independent of our belief.
How many of you have ever believed something that was not true? Sincerely believing a lie, can have terrible consequences. Believing you are in a safe place when you are not just might cost you your life.
If someone interrupted the service today by running in and shouting “the smell of gas is all over the basement underneath, I think we should end the service now.” If you could smell gas coming out of the vents would your acceptance of the truth allow you to continue to wait 30 more minutes for the service to end before you took any action.
Sometimes we reject the truth, because we are afraid to take risks that truth may require of us. Go back with me for a moment into the story into our Old Testament reading. King Zedekiah and his people had been living in disobedience to God. They would not listen to the prophets who were telling them to change their ways.
As a matter they killed the prophets who told them the truth, that God’s judgement was coming on the city. They rewarded the prophets who told them lies, saying they were fine with God and that God didn’t care about their actual behavior. Their sin was no problem with God.
Jeremiah was one of the prophets who had told the king years earlier that God was going to send the Babylonian army to destroy the city unless the king and people repented. He preached this message for about 8 years. His message was rejected as foolishness and lies.
Well finally the Babylonian army has arrived, the city is surrounded by walls and the Babylonian army has surrounded the city. Noone can enter or leave the city. The Babylonians have overtaken the rest of the country and only 3 walled cities are still holding out, with Jerusalem being one of them.
King Zedekiah knows that his options are limited. Even though he has not been walking with God, he’s hoping the prophet Jeremiah will give him a message that at the last minute, God will come to their aid and defeat the Babylonian army. So he asks Jeremiah, “Is there a word from the Lord.”
Jeremiah says, “why do you ask me if there is a word from the Lord, if I tell you, you won’t obey it? Why not ask those false prophets who told you the Babylonians would never come to this city?”
Jeremiah goes ahead and tells the king,” yes there is a word. The Lord will bring the Babylonians into this city, burn it down with fire, and they will capture you and your family. However, if you voluntarily surrender to the Babylonians, you and your family will live, and the city will not be burned down.”
This was not the report that King Zedekiah wanted to hear. He said, he’d do it except for the fact he was afraid that if he surrendered to the Babylonians, some of us own people would try to kill him. Jeremiah told him, he did not have to worry about that. It wasn’t going to happen. What he needed to do was to obey the Lord otherwise disaster would come upon him.
King Zedekiah wanted to follow God at this point, but he did not want to have to risk anything to do it. He made the decision to believe a lie because he didn’t want to pay the price to accept the truth. One of the great lies of Satan is the belief that we should be able to follow Jesus, without having to pay a price for believing in him. We gladly accept lies over the truth of the Word of God.
The greater the consequences are surrounding a truth, the more we put ourselves at risk if we refuse to take action concerning the truth. If you know your brakes are not working on your car, it would be foolish of you to drive out our parking lot heading toward Euclid and speeding up to 50 miles an hour to make sure you caught the light. There are a host of things that could go wrong.