I once heard a man say that he didn’t believe in the existence of Australia! Before all the Ozzies get annoyed, he went on to say that he didn’t believe it – he knew it existed, so he didn’t need to believe. Maybe he was being a bit picky over words. However there is a point to it. I don’t just believe about the existence of Jesus, because I believe in Jesus and I know He exists.
When the chief priests went to Pilate with their concerns about the possibility of Jesus’ body being stolen after his Crucifixion, they were actually expressing something they believed about Jesus. They said it was because they were afraid the disciples might steal His body. Yet the followers of Jesus didn’t understand about the resurrection until after it had happened, and even then some doubted. I think the chief priests must have believed in the possibility of Jesus rising from the dead but they didn’t want to admit it publicly.
The soldiers too believed that Jesus was no longer dead in the tomb, which is why they went to the authorities and had to be bribed to keep quiet. They didn’t yet believe in Jesus, but they believed something rather radical about Him.
John’s Gospel tells us that belief is more than accepting a set of facts. Believing in Jesus is a dynamic thing which leads to eternal life. ‘These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you might have life in His name (John 20:31).
Believing in this way is an expression of faith not just head knowledge. As we reflect on the resurrection let’s make the faith statement that we believe in Jesus. Praise God that by believing we have life in His name!
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that although Your Resurrection is a fact, Your Risen presence is a certainty we can believe in. Thank You that because You’re alive we live. By Your Holy Spirit, Jesus, keep us dynamic in our believing as we have relationship with You, now and for ever. Amen.
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