So, you’re telling me that Jesus rose from the dead?
People have asked me many questions like this in the past three decades in my career as a pastor. And I can relate to people who ask these questions. I have been a skeptic my whole life. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t automatically believe things when I first hear them, and I question the validity of most stories and claims.
There was a season in my life when I thought that was a bad thing—because I envy people who simply believe with an unshakable faith. But I have come to understand and even be thankful for my skeptic heart and brain. I’ve realized how healthy it is to question things. Suspicion has a way of firming up faith in whatever it is a person is investigating. Asking tough questions is how God prepared me to teach others.
In Matthew 22:37, Jesus tells us that we are to love the Lord our God with our minds.
Easter at Kensington
This Easter at Kensington the theme for our services is Possible. Is all this possible? On Palm Sunday, we asked the same question they asked back then, “Could It Be Him?” On Good Friday Jesus’ followers asked, “Could It Be Over?” On Easter Sunday we are posing the question, “Could It Be True?” We will discover the journey that most people experience in believing, from childhood to adulthood.
As children, we tend to believe most anything and everything. Just for my own amusement, I once told my very young nieces that I was friends with the dragon who lived across the street from them in the big bush. The moment after I was done making up this grand story, I never thought anything of it. I forgot all about it the next day. It wasn’t until years later when they cornered me at a family barbeque in the backyard expressing their anger, having wasted years of their lives foolishly investigating and stalking the bush. I’m sure as a child you believed in similar things that you were told.
As the years pass, we start to learn that many things we believed in aren’t true. When it comes to faith, many of us start to experience, what we classify as, “unanswered prayers.” We start to question everything we discover is wrong with the Bible, organized religion and faith in general. In so many ways, disappointment sets in. But it’s a powerful thing when we start the process of thinking for ourselves. It’s a part of growing up, and it’s an important part of our faith journey. God wants us to be enlightened and informed. He gave us free will so that we could be thinkers, not just blind believers.
But regardless of our roadblocks, questions and objections, I think deep down all of us want to believe in something. Many of us want to believe the stories of Jesus are true. Can you think of anything better than to go through this life knowing we are not alone, and are loved by an all-powerful God? That there is a God who wants a future for us, filled with significance, purpose, and joy? That we will spend an eternity in a place that has no more pain and tears? If all of that were true, wouldn’t that be something?
Well, let me ask you: What if it is true? What would that mean for the life we have left to live?
When investigating Jesus, what is at stake? The answer is: everything. Everything is at stake. It’s too important not to decide for yourself what the truth is.
Please join us for one of our 30 services at any of our six campuses as we journey this Easter through the lens of the cynic, the skeptic, the atheist, and those with emotional objections about the truth of Jesus! Get your free tickets at kensingtonchurch.org/easter.