Day 33

The Reality of the Risen Jesus

from the Luke reading plan


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.

And yet…

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.

Post Comments (32)

32 thoughts on "The Reality of the Risen Jesus"

  1. Natalia Phillips says:

    Despite having faith, we still struggle to believe the beauty of everything taking place around us (Luke 24:25). God knew this, which is why Jesus was sent to us, born of flesh, but humbled by the Spirit and His experiences here on earth. His constant reminders to those around Him about what was to come, prepared them, but they still weren’t prepared. They walked and talked with Jesus beating witness to the miracles and healing that was being done but when it came time to wrap it all together they struggled like we do.

    My prayer is that we continue to do it afraid. Even when what we see, isn’t necessarily aligning with our faith, what the word is teaching us, and who we know to be our teacher should be all we would ever need.

  2. Lizz says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I resonate so deeply as my husband and I are processing our first, and surprise, pregnancy. I know there is joy in this miracle, but I have felt so much shame in my inability to digest. I hold this so dearly, that I am not alone.

  3. Sharon W says:

    Thanks for your encouragement today.

  4. PamC says:

    Thank you Churchmouse. ❤️

  5. Kate Wells says:

    Oh Amen sisters! Thank you Jesus for making room for me and my imperfections with your perfection. I am willing to try and I am willing to fail and I’m willing to get back up and do it again for you and your kingdom and your glory. Thank you for reminding me that I am never big enough to get in the way of your perfection. That my human-ness is is all that you’ve ever asked of me. To show up, broken and incomplete and allow you to do the rest. I do often get hung up in doing it all in my own strength and I am convicted and humbled and in awe of your love that you never expected or desired more from me than what I am. I give all that I am to you, Lord. As I am right now, today.

    1. Lori Wat says:

      ❤️ He never expects more from us than who we are. So good and so true. Rest in that!

  6. Sarah Dolan says:

    One of the things about Jesus that amazes me is that, in being of the likeness of man, He had free will and could have called it all off on numerous occasions, but He didn’t. He showed us what we are capable of, in Him and through Him. Our potential capacity of love is Supernatural and so powerful and I pray for that bliss in Heaven!

  7. LindseyJane Godbold says:

    I find myself forgetting. “And then they remembered…” most accurately describes me. I forget what God did for me last week, last month, last year. I have a hard time looking ahead because I forget his faithfulness in the past. I started writing it all down. So I can remember.

  8. Rachel Martinez says:

    I could completely relate to the reading today. I also struggle with doubt and lately I have had a lot of guilt and shame about it. Thank God that He remains strong in my times of doubt and that His goodness does not rely on the size of my faith ♥️ He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow!

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