Doubt can be very debilitating. When we doubt certain laws of science, bad things can follow. An example of this is gravity. Gravity is a proven scientific fact. It is said that Sir Isaac Newton discovered the forces of gravity. Newton was an English mathematician and physicist who lived from 1642 to 1727. The legend is that Newton discovered gravity while thinking about the forces of nature, when he saw an apple falling. It’s not surprising that gravity was discovered. What I find surprising is that nobody figured it out before him. To me, gravity makes perfect sense; after all, what goes up must come down, right?
So when it comes to gravity, I don’t doubt what I have been seeing all my life. Whether playing baseball, golf, football or any other type of ball sport, I learned early on that the ball always comes down (not always where I wanted it to go), but as certain as I am that the sun is shining over some part of the earth at the moment, I am certain that gravity is at work--holding everything that is dear to me solidly on the ground.
What is true in the physical realm is also true in the spiritual realm. Take the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe it happened, and that it is a truth based on a historical fact. Yet, there are people who doubt that it ever really happened. However, just because you don’t believe that it happened or doubt its historicity, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Before Newton’s discovery of gravity, people, like the Greek philosophers, believed that the planets and stars were part of the gods’ realm and followed a natural motion. They did not realize that gravity is involved. What I have read in my research is that the Greeks’ ideas stuck around until the 16th century.
Now I am not say that our Sovereign God is not involved in the design of gravity nor in the everyday function of it; the fact is, He is. But what God has given to us is by His design, and all we are left to do is discover it. This is also true of Jesus Christ and His bodily resurrection from the grave. His Father, demonstrating power over the grave, raised Him from the dead.
But there are plenty of people who would say, “I doubt it!” As a matter of fact, we are told in the Gospel of John chapter 20 verses 24 through 29, that a man named Thomas received a new nickname “The Doubter.” You see, Thomas wanted scientific proof that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead. We are told in verse 25 that Thomas said, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my fingers into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” (ESV) But eight days later, Jesus appeared to Thomas and said to him, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side.” (Verse 27) Thomas’ “I doubt it!” attitude was instantly changed to, “I will never doubt it again” belief that Jesus Christ was truly God in the flesh.
As we get closer to celebrating the resurrection of Christ, I wonder how many of you struggle with doubts. Do some of you doubt that Jesus Christ really rose from the grave? Do you still have doubts about how much God really loves you? Do you wonder, after falling back into a sin pattern over and over again, when the loving patience of God will finally wear thin? Well, you can stop wondering and you can stop doubting, because the same God who raised His Son from the dead is the same God who will keep you for all eternity.
But there are some strings attached to His keeping you. In Romans 10:8-10 says, “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.’”
Like Newton’s discovery of gravity I might not understand all there is to know about it, but I accept it as certain truth and I live my life according to it. And the same is true about Jesus Christ. I don’t totally understand all there is to know about Jesus’ resurrection, but I believe without any doubt that it is true, and I stake my life on this fact. And because of this fact, I know that God really loves me and will continue to be patient with me as I live my life to become more like His Son everyday. If you have never confessed Jesus Christ as the risen Savior, who died for your sins by shedding His blood on the cross, I urge you to do that right now. What must you do? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Trust Him that He has the power to take away all your sins through His shed blood, because He has power over the grave.
This is Pastor Whalen wishing you joy in Jesus and a blessed Easter.