What would it take for us to believe?

Published 6:25 am Friday, April 6, 2018

When the holidays of Christmas and the holy week come around, I cannot help but wonder what the general population thinks about the spiritual significance of these events. I realize that Christians are more involved with these celebrations because of their personal connection with Jesus Christ, but we must also admit there are many different levels of commitment and enthusiasm.
In the last few years, the big screen has produced several Christian-based movies and however you feel about them, at least someone is trying to relay the gospel of Christ. I saw the movie “Risen” the other night and thought about some key moments within the film. I’m encouraged whenever I see someone believing when they see a miracle, but I’m also reminded that everyone will not believe in Jesus whether they see one or not.
Jesus declared in John 20:29, “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Yes, Jesus spoke divine truth and in only three years made a huge impact, but his message was generally not embraced by the masses and neither is it today. Why? Well, the most disturbing reason which was also revealed in this movie, is that many individuals will absolutely never allow themselves to submit their will to the Creator.
“Risen” is based on a fictional character named Clavious who portrays a high ranking Roman soldier and fierce non-believer that oversees the crucifixion of Christ. However, a few days after Jesus is buried, he witnesses the Messiah miraculously comforting his disciples in the upper room.
He is so stunned and in a state of shock that he abandons his duties and begins to stalk the disciples hoping to discover what in the world is going on. Although not a Biblical account, it still exposes our spiritual blindness along with an encouraging hope that God has invited everyone to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.
We commonly use skits and plays in church to illustrate spiritual principals and even Jesus himself told parables which are narratives that help explain divine truths. I have no intention to argue about the accuracy or intentions of movies like this, but within the presentation of Christ we can at least consider, “what would it take for us to believe?”
You would imagine if someone knew that God and his word were absolutely true, they would become a Jesus fanatic, but this is not necessarily so. Humans do not believe because our pride fights against us being transformed into his image. We want to control our own lives, and do not want anyone, especially God, to interfere with the way we live.
We find in Luke chapter 16, where a rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus passed away. The rich man ends up in the flames of misery but yet has the ability to see Lazarus and Abraham in paradise. He lifts his eyes in torment and begs Abraham to please send Lazarus back to warn his family and friends about this place of endless suffering. Abraham replies that whoever refuses to accept God’s message would still not surrender their independence even if someone came back from the dead.
Dr. Holland is a Christian minister, chaplain, and author. Discover more at billyhollandministries.com

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