Monday, January 12, 2015

I Believe in Jesus

Thomas Examines Jesus' Wound

Thomas believed because he saw Jesus after the resurrection with his own eyes, and had the opportunity to examine the wound in Jesus' side.  Thomas acted on his faith by carrying the word about the resurrection of Jesus all the way to India. 

Jn 20:26 --Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

I believe in Jesus because I have examined the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus, and concluded that Jesus did raise from the grave on the third day, and that this proves that Jesus is the Son of God. 

My favorite account of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was written by John, the Apostle to whom Jesus committed the care of His mother. This scene at the cross touches my heart, as I consider the love of a mother for her son, and Jesus' love of his mother.

Jn 19:23 --When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

John, Mary and Mary at the Cross

Yes, I believe in Jesus because of the evidence. And the most powerful evidence is the historical evidence of the resurrection, including the actions of men like Thomas and Paul who carried the message of the resurrection to difficult places in difficult circumstances. They devoted their lives to spreading this message, and they died in the process. They followed the marching orders of Jesus.

The Great Commission

Matt 18:16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Yes, I believe in Jesus. And because I believe, I love and obey Him. When I was 12 years old, my faith moved me to announce my belief that Jesus is the Son of God, and having repented of my sins, I was immersed in the cold water of Little Crow Creek. 

I can talk for days and weeks about how Jesus has blessed and grown my faith.  In the beginning I was just a child, vulnerable to the assaults of Satan, but Jesus never left me alone. Three years later my mother died, and I could not understand how it could have happened. How could Jesus have allowed my blessed mother, valiant warrior of the faith, to die like that? But He stayed by my side and got me through that valley. Through good times and bad times, He never failed to provide what is needed for eternal life. 

Many times I have ventured forth not knowing what was ahead, but always trusting that God would provide. And He always provides what is His will. He keeps His promises. He never fails. 

Do you believe in Jesus?  

Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

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