Recently I have had many conversations about doubt in relation to our Christian faith. I have been thinking of the disciples as Jesus hung on the cross: What went through their minds? How did their faith in Christ stand up against the evidence that their Messiah, the Son of God was being crucified? And after his death, what were they saying amongst themselves? How were they processing all of the things that He had said to them about His coming that they might have life? How could they have life in the face of death— HIS death?
I am the resurrection and the life; all who believe in me will not die but have eternal life.
I suspect that together, the disciples began to recall the words of Jesus pointing to the inevitability of his death. He said:
He must go and they could not follow…
He was going to prepare a place for them…
He would send His Holy Spirit to lead and guide them until they were reunited…
I imagine the scene filled with questions, doubt, disappointment and disillusionment; their hearts crushed.
Now that is where we come in. We enter into this scene when our hopes are crushed and our hearts are broken; when life threatens to overwhelm us and the waves of doubt crash over our ordered lives.
And just when they thought they could bear no more, Jesus appeared. He broke through the grave. Their hope took flight and grew into creating a band of brothers who changed the world.
Friends, in our spiritual journey, it is the times where death closes in on us and threatens to overtake us, that the resurrection breaks in. Our doubts and lost hope are turned into our deepest joys. It is difficult to see or believe this when we are in the middle of the valley of shadow of death. But the sun will rise again; and this time when it rises, there will be more light than before.
My pastor described doubt in a recent sermon:
Doubt is can’t believe.
Unbelief is won’t believe.
The difference is between following Christ and turning from Christ. I would love for you to join us this week for my Gospel of John teaching on The Risen Christ via live streaming or in person (Thursday at 10:40 am).