The Reality of the Risen Jesus
Open Your Bible
Luke 24:1-53, Philippians 2:7-11, 1 John 1:1-3
BY Guest Writer
This year, my husband and I started a church, and in many ways it has been the most amazing adventure of our lives. We have seen signs and wonders, answers to prayer, supernatural provision, and the fruition of God-given vision. My husband and I have been awed and amazed, and truly, we will never be the same.
All along, during these months of amazement, I have noticed something funny in my soul. Call it an “inability to digest.” I have seen the miraculous with my own two eyes. I have experienced it, and I have lived it. And still, a part of me wonders, Really? Did that really happen? It’s as if my faith cannot catch up. No matter what God does, no matter how powerful and unforgettable, my brain struggles to wrap itself around the truth.
This is the dilemma of being a finite human being who worships an infinite God. As long as we live on this earth, we will struggle to grasp the ways of God. We observe this struggle in Luke 24. First, there are Jesus’s closest female companions, who have followed Him and supported Him all the way. By this point, they should have “gotten it,” yet when they see the empty tomb, they still have to be asked, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” (v.5). Then, in verses 36–37, when Jesus appears to the disciples, they assume they are seeing a ghost. Even after studying His hands and feet, they were still wrestling with disbelief (v.41).
What this tells us is that faith is much harder than we often like to admit, and we see this theme woven throughout the Gospels. Over and over, Jesus’s followers fail to understand Him, and they struggle to believe. Whether it’s Jesus’s purpose, identity, or plan they’re misunderstanding at any given moment, they are consistently unable to keep up. Their faith never does keep pace with all that Jesus is doing.
And I get it. This year, I have found myself in that place again and again, fumbling for a faith that matches the magnitude of all that God is doing around me. It’s humbling and convicting.
Thankfully, the good news of Jesus Christ does not rise and fall on the size of our faith. If that were the case, Jesus’s disciples would not have accomplished very much. Instead, the gospel of Jesus Christ rises and falls on the reality of His life, death, resurrection, none of which is strengthened or diminished by our ability to fully comprehend it.
This is the grace we have in Christ. Our faith will never match the size of His works. Our belief will never catch up to all that He is doing. But the story of Luke is the story of God using imperfect people with imperfect faith to accomplish Christ’s mission in the world. All that God requires is a willing heart—willing to try, and willing to fail—trusting Him to redeem the whole of it.
Sharon Hodde Miller leads Bright City Church in Durham, NC with her husband Ike. She also holds a PhD on women and calling, and is the author of Free of Me: Why Life Is Better When It’s Not about You.