April 14, 2018: Convincing Proofs

Acts 1:1-3 (NIV)
1  In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach
2  until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
3  After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

 

To whom did Jesus show himself to after his resurrection?  If I were planning how to gain a following I would have most certainly had Jesus show up to the Pharisees and Religious leaders and Pilate and other Roman Guards and rulers so he could convince them they had been wrong about him.  Yes, this would be the best way to gain a following.

Apparently, Jesus did not think my idea worth much for he did something entirely different.  He chose to only show himself alive to those who had chosen to turn from their sin and trust in Him and not to all his detractors.

I find it extremely interesting that the news of his resurrection did not appear to change anything in Jerusalem except to have a few religious leaders pay off some Roman guards to propagate a false story that his disciples came and stole his body away while they slept.

Jesus could have put an immediate stop to this if he would have just shown up to the religious leaders and Roman officials and gave them the same evidence he was giving to the apostles, but he did not.

When I first read this account I thought it rather strange that he did not do what we really think he should have done.  His ways are always much different than our ways.  What could be the reason for his refusing to show himself to the hostile witnesses?

As I thought about this it occurred to me, probably because the Holy Spirit spoke to my brain and said, “Do you think you know better than Jesus how to reveal himself so they will believe?”

Once again I decided to keep my mouth shut and listen.

The reason he did not reveal himself to the religious leaders is one needs to have faith in God whom he has not seen before he can have faith in the God whom he can see.

He told the rich man in hell that unless people believe Moses and the prophets they will not believe even if someone rises from the dead.  Our faith does not stand on physical evidence in front of our eyes but in spiritual evidence as we repent and believe the gospel.

The sinful nature of man is of such a nature that God can show up right in front of him but he will refuse to believe because he men love sin far too much to turn from it to Jesus.

So it is with all who refuse to believe unless God proves himself to them.  News flash, God has already proved his love to them.

Romans 5:8 (NIV)
8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

All that we need to believe in order to see Christ is what Paul writes in Romans 5:8.  God has already proved his love for us on the cross and if the cross is not enough no amount of miracles will be enough.

The Cross is the eternal evidence that God loves the wayward sinner and will receive all who turn from their sins and trust in his Son.

Convinced by the Evidence,

 

Pastor Phil

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