There’s a problem with the resurrection that keeps a lot of folks from believing.
You might think it has to do with a skepticism born in science or the Enlightenment.
You’d be partially right, but then you’d be hard-pressed to explain why there are so many accomplished scientists and philosophers all around the globe who believe Jesus rose bodily from the dead.
There’s a bigger problem with the resurrection.
To see it, step into the shoes of the disciples for a moment. They witnessed the resurrected Jesus with their own eyes. They heard him speak with their own ears. They touched him with their own hands.
Still, when Jesus gathered them together on a mountain to give them their marching orders, Matthew’s Gospel tells us that some of them doubted (Matthew 28:17).
They were not scientists. The Enlightenment was centuries away into the future. But they still had a problem believing in the resurrection.
I think their problem with believing in the resurrection is our problem, too.
Jesus spoke directly to it in the passage we’ll look at this weekend (Matthew 16:13-28).
What’s the problem with the resurrection? Simply put...
Before Jesus could be resurrected, he had to die. The disciples had a big problem with that. They had such a big problem with the very idea of a dying Messiah that their unofficial leader actually castigated Jesus for mentioning it.
The disciples also had a host of theological problems with how the resurrection came down. The problem was so big that one leading historian explains that no self-respecting Jew would have made it up or could even have conceived of it.
But Jesus also said that before we can experience a resurrection, we also have to die. And not just somewhere out there in the future. We have to die now.
And dying’s a problem for us.
It’s not just a problem for doubters; it’s a problem for those who believe Jesus died and rose again.
But it’s a problem worth grappling with.
In fact, our very souls are in danger if we fail to come to terms with it and understand it and die. Yes, die.
That’s what we’re going to grapple with this weekend as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
Worship times are Saturday at 4:30pm and Sunday at 8am, 9:30am, and 11am.
And you really won’t want to miss the Good Friday service tonight (5:30pm and 7pm)!