See­ing through the eyes of faith - God’s gift to all

The Covington News - - RELIGION -

Cru­ci­fix­ion. Stab­bing. Ston­ing. Flay­ing. Be­head­ing.

I’m de­scrib­ing the ways the orig­i­nal apos­tles of Je­sus died. They died be­cause they would not budge from their con­vic­tion on the truth of Je­sus’ res­ur­rec­tion, the power of His mes­sage, the value of their re­la­tion­ship with him. They were so cer­tain of their eter­nity that they will­ingly faced death, the most grue­some of deaths, in­stead of deny­ing it.

Would you like to be that sure? Now, I’m not ask­ing you if you want to be flayed or cru­ci­fied, but do you want the ab­so­lute con­fi­dence that al­lowed those dis­ci­ples to face those most hor­ren­dous of deaths with­out a doubt? Do you want to live a life free from worry?

Good, be­cause the key is in our text for to­day, Luke 24, the ac­count of what hap­pened Easter Sun­day night. In the text, we see th­ese same apos­tles, the supremely con­fi­dent, bold, absolutely cer­tain, will­ingto-die dis­ci­ples.

They had no con­fi­dence even af­ter they had re­ports of his res­ur­rec­tion, So look at what Je­sus does that brought them from be­ing the fear­ful flock of fools locked up in that up­per room scared of the Jews to the death-de­fy­ing dis­ci­ples who stood up to kings and em­per­ors, tor­ture and death. What hap­pened?

Je­sus ap­peared. He proved his phys­i­cal res­ur­rec­tion to all their senses. Their ears – he speaks those beau­ti­ful words: “Peace be with you”. Their hands - “Touch me…flesh and bones.” “See me.” Scars in hands and feet. And taste - He even eats some­thing in front of them. He proved it.

But he re­al­ized some­thing about that proof. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough be­cause it was ap­pre­hended by hu­man senses, fal­li­ble, weak, sin­ful hu­man senses. My eyes have been tricked be­fore. My ears have heard lies. My senses have been de­ceived. All of that proof would nec­es­sar­ily come with a shadow of a doubt.

So when Je­sus asks, “Why are you trou­bled?” we’d have a good an­swer. We’ve been wrong be­fore. And even worse, even if we are con­vinced that God ex­ists and even that Je­sus is God – the nat­u­ral next ques­tion is harder to prove. Does God ex­ist for me?

In our real world, in this world of harsh re­al­i­ties, there are real ques­tions: Is God strong enough to over­come my ad­dic­tion? Is he strong enough to pro­vide for my fam­ily when I’ve lost my job? Is he car­ing enough to give me joy when I’ve lost my loved one? Can he han­dle my sick­ness? Is He strong enough to bring me through the dev­as­ta­tion of a dam­aged re­la­tion­ship?

So Je­sus takes the proof to the next level. He takes us from what we see to what God says. And that is where our con­fi­dence lies.

You see, ev­ery ra­tio­nal ar­gu­ment, ev­ery log­i­cal ex­pla­na­tion, ev­ery proof our senses give us – they come with a shadow of a doubt – be­cause they come from us, from sin­ful, stained, im­per­fect us. So Je­sus points us to the flaw­less, the per­fect, the holy Word, the word that Isa­iah tells us “en­dures for­ever” (40:8). Lis­ten to Je­sus re­move all our rea­son to be trou­bled when he says: “It is writ­ten”. Luke 24:44.

It had to hap­pen. The prom­ises God made in Scrip­ture HAD to be ful­filled. Why? Be­cause of who God is. Cre­ation tells us he’s pow­er­ful and wise. Our con­sciences tell us he is a just god. But who is he?

Only He could tell us that he is love. Scrip­ture tells us that God’s love for you is too great to let you suf­fer with doubt. Je­sus goes on to ex­plain that.

Here is what our im­per­fect senses could never tell us. God loves you so much that he sac­ri­ficed his life to sat­isfy His jus­tice for your sins. And it is God who opens your mind to see that. And you see that with the eyes of faith – the per­fect, flaw­less, to­tally depend­able eyes of faith - the eyes that no hand is quicker than, the eyes that can­not be de­ceived be­cause they are not from us sin­ful hu­mans. Faith is God’s gift to us – so see­ing all this through the eyes of faith – there is no doubt.

Amen.

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