Have you ever had your faith shaken? I mean really rocked to where you start to question everything? If you have, you’re not alone. Most Christians face something that shakes their faith at some point in their life. In fact most atheists were once Christians who had their faith shaken so hard, it all came crumbling down. The difference between an atheist who was once a Christian and any other mature Christian who has been shaken… is what they put their absolute faith in.
Let’s look at an earthquake as an example. We all know that earthquakes are natural and occur all the time. God designed a planet with moving parts (just like every other thing He designed). When those parts move, they cause vibration in the rest of the system. Sometimes those vibrations are so minor, only the seismic equipment notices. Other times, it is to sever that the whole world notices. But if you study every single earthquake, you notice a pattern. Not a predictable pattern to determine when the next one will hit.. but a pattern none the less. In every case, the earth itself recovers. The damage is to what mankind has built upon that earth. Some of that never recovers. If your focus is on the buildings and structures, you see permanent destruction. But if your focus is on the earth itself, you see transformation and change.
You see, depending on what you focus on, the shaking of your faith can have vastly differing effects. If your focus is on the man made institution of a particular religion or denomination, you faith can crumble. But if you focus solely on the Savior Himself, you can still be shaken but nothing will make you crumble.
I’ve heard people debate on the young earth vs. old earth. I’ve heard the arguments for and against a physical Garden of Eden. I’ve read the challenges and support of the existence of an Ark. The debates over many of the historical events mentioned in the Bible have been debated for centuries. I’ve also heard people parse language of the prophets. Did Isaiah say the Messiah would be born of a “virgin” or a “young girl”?
This list goes on and on but again, the list is not the focus. The real focus comes down to one thing… and one thing only. Do you believe that the man of Jesus, who walked this earth for about 33 years, is who He says He is?
You see, other historical documents have confirmed that this man did in fact exist. Even other religions that don’t consider Him the Savior all agree He was a real man. Many of them try to paint Him as a Prophet or Teacher of great wisdom, but they come short of calling Him the Messiah or Savior or God. The only problem with their line of thinking is that He claimed just as much.
The Jews certainly admit He claimed as much. In fact it’s the very reason they wanted Him killed. Jesus said “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) The Jews certainly did not see this as some sort of hippie sounding spiritual thing… (like saying I and the Father are connected and at peace with each other). Their response confirms exactly what they knew He meant. “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” (John 10:34) They fully understood that Jesus was directly claiming to be of the same essence of God.
In the interest of time, we’ll only use the once example. Jesus claims to be God. So is He?
There are only three possible answers.
- Jesus was a lunatic. He thought He was God but really wasn’t. But then how do you come to terms with the resurrection? If He was a lunatic, the disciples would have figured it out when He never rose. And if they somehow faked the resurrection, how do you come to terms with the dozens of people who died very violently claiming to have seen the resurrected Christ. Not something that people who faked the resurrection would likely have done. At least one of them would have eventually changed their story.
- Jesus was a liar. He knew He was only a man, but made the whole thing up. You would still end up with the same dilemma as above.
- Jesus is Lord. Sherlock Holmes said that once you eliminate all the alternative options, the one that is left (no matter how unlikely) is the answer.
If Jesus is Lord, then none of the debate about the Garden of Eden, the Ark, the Exodus, etc… none of it matters in the end. Knowing that Jesus is Lord gives me the solid foundation that no amount of shaking can destroy. Any other line of thinking is simply false.