This week, all three of our church families started a seven-week journey that will take us through Easter Sunday. Our vision for this series is to address some specific interactions that Jesus has with individuals in the Gospels that seem to be coming to Him with some sort of Crisis of Faith. These people were having these massive fork-in-the-road kind of experiences, and Jesus takes care to address the nature of their struggle, and to show them how their needs and worries and crises are taken care of in Him.
For our first week, we looked to answer a question that coms out of a Crisis of Faith found in John 20.
Isn’t Faith Irrational?
We looked specifically at an interaction that Jesus has with Mary (Mary Magdalene, not Mary His mother) after she realizes that His tomb is empty, but before she has yet to realize that Jesus has risen from the dead. Jesus is speaking to her in person, but she doesn’t immediately recognize Him as her friend and Savior. It is only after Jesus speaks the name of Mary that she falls at His feet, realizing who He is and what He has accomplished. Bailey walked us through what this interaction teaches us about having faith in the 21st century.
- Faith doesn’t mean turning your brain off.
- Everyone lives within a combination of both reason AND belief.
- The conversation isn’t as simple as faith verses reason, it’s belief verses belief.
- Christianity, despite what you may have been told, invites you to apply your reason towards belief in Jesus.
At the center on this conflict of faith and reason is the actual resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection is central to the Christian faith, and its truthfulness paramount to our belief system. If Christ did not die and raise from the dead, we have been wasting a lot of time. The disciples held fast to this unbelievable claim of resurrection for decades after Jesus died and rose. Even in the face of opposition, persecution, and even martyrdom, the disciples did not waver in their account that Christ was risen from the dead. We can even use reason to confirm what we believe to be true. In fact, Bailey gave us three reasons for the Gospel accounts to be true.
- This claim of resurrection by a woman was too counterproductive to have been false.
- Eye witness stories were too early to have been falsified.
- The disciples were willing to die for this gospel.
In light of all of this, it certainty is not unreasonable to conclude that the resurrection is the most plausible explanation for the disciples’ conviction and consistency until their martyrdom. However, reason will not be enough; we still have to step into belief. Reason is absolutely necessary but ultimately insufficient.
At the heart of Jesus’ interaction with Mary is the truth that Jesus isn’t afraid of our doubts, and He is not afraid of our questions. He’s not worried about what your doubts might produce, but instead draws nearer to you when you express your doubts to Him. The death and resurrection of Christ is proof that in our doubts and confusions, Jesus is moving towards you, engaging you in them, and calling you by name.
Songs from This Week:
Come Holy One- Young Oceans w/Leeland
Fix My Eyes- Kings Kaleidescope
All I Have is Christ- Sovereign Grace Music
Man of Sorrows- Hillsong Worship
King of My Heart- John Mark and Sara McMillan