Monday, March 21, 2016

The Centrality of the Resurrection

Like most people of faith, I've experienced moments of doubt and despair.  I've had to wrestle with questions like, "Do I believe?  Why do I believe?  What if I didn't believe?"  I've never lost my faith, but on a few occasions I have feared that I might.  Though seasons of disorientation are always uncomfortable, I've discovered that every time I've passed through them, my faith is stronger on the other side.  Looking back on my younger years, I realize that my adolescent faith was, obviously, immature.  But it was true faith, if even but a mustard seed's worth.  As my faith has matured, I've tried, though not always successfully, to maintain the passion of my earlier belief, while ridding myself of some of my earlier naivety.  There are probably times where I get it backwards - embracing a new naivety, while failing to hold onto the passion. 

But as my faith has ebbed and flowed, the one conviction I've held onto above all others is the centrality of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth to the Christian faith.  We can get a lot of things wrong (and we all certainly do) regarding what it means to follow Jesus, but we cannot get the fact of Jesus' resurrection wrong and still remain true to him.  Certainly our understanding of this most important event will continue to develop and change as our faith matures, but belief that the tomb is empty is what essentially differentiates believers from non-believers.  And when we strip everything else away, the resurrection of Jesus is the reason why the person of Jesus has become the most significant in all of human history.  His resurrection makes sense of where the world has been, where it presently is and finally, where it is going. - Shay          

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