Why am I a Christian? What is my faith based on? That depends upon the day.
There are days when God’s presence feels so real. I have had numerous specific prayers answered in very dramatic ways. I have been overcome with feelings of peace and great confidence in God’s activity in my life.
But there are other days.
Sometimes my emotions don’t cooperate and life is difficult. There are days when God seems silent and my prayers bounce off the gates of heaven.
On those days, I rely on the resurrection of Jesus. Despite all my theological education, there are many things about the Bible that I don’t understand. But one of the clear areas of the Bible is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Not only is it obvious that the these events are central to Christianity, they are also some of the most certain events in religious history. Aside from Muslims who reject it based on theological reasons, everyone pretty much agrees that Jesus was crucified by the Romans.
But what about the resurrection?
I believe that the resurrection of Jesus is on a solid historical foundation. What we know is that Jesus died and that more than five hundred people saw the risen Jesus (see 1 Corinthians 15). Many of the people who claimed to have seen Jesus also died for their faith. I have looked at all the competing theories and I believe that the resurrection of Jesus is the best explanation of the evidence.
What does that mean for me?
It means that when the feelings aren’t there, I can trust in the truth of the basic claims of Christianity. The feelings will come and go but the evidence will remain the same. This gives me everything I need to remain in my Christian faith.
I have put together a bulletin insert on the resurrection of Jesus that you can download here.