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Tavern Talk #8: Do I Have to Believe?

Because we celebrated Easter at our monthly gathering this month, it seemed like the perfect time to discuss a question that a friend asked me a few months ago: Do I have to believe in the resurrection? A knee-jerk answer is easy. But a thorough analysis yields stronger results.


If you ask the question, then it must matter to you. In other words, you believe that it might affect your life or your after-life in some way if you don’t believe. But, there are lots of beliefs with which to wrestle that lead to this penultimate question.


Do you believe in God? Do you believe in good and evil? Do you believe that God is good? Do you believe that there is or will be some judgment where your life or after-life will be affected by your choices of evil over good? Do you want a relationship with God, now and in the future? Do you believe that Jesus was of God? Do you believe that Jesus was a man or took human form? Do you believe that you must somehow be made right with God to be in relationship with him or her (in spite of your evil nature and conduct)? Do you understand why Jesus would need to need to die or be killed? Do you believe that he died? Do you believe that God has the power to overrule death?


Here’s the thing – there is no evidence to support your answers if they are in the affirmative. And, you can’t prove a negative. But, this story has survived the test of time somehow. Why? Because people have experienced and experience a relationship with God. And that relationship was made possible by Jesus. And, there were witnesses to Jesus’s death and resurrection who believed so strongly in it that they dedicated their lives to sharing the story. And, it would have been easier not to.


It comes down to what you believe – in your heart more so than in your mind. That’s faith. And, that’s hope. Wouldn’t you rather live with hope than without it?


Why should you believe? The better question is why not?


Readings:

Matthew 26 – 28

Mark 14 – 16

Luke 22 – 24

John 18 – 21

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