A man is standing on the sidewalk beside his wrecked car. A woman he knows meets him on the street, and she doesn’t believe the man when he tells her about all the benefits of his care insurance company.
“Where did you hear that?” he asks. “On the internet… Don’t you know? They can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true.”
And then appears an disheveled, unkempt, fanny-pack-wearing man she introduces as her new boyfriend. “I met him on the internet,” she says. “He’s a French model.” He grunts out a “bonjour” and the two go off happily on their date.
I guess that the reason why I find this commercial funny is because we don’t always make good choices when it comes to what we believe to be true. We’ve all been there. We’ve played the fool and believed something that isn’t true.
When we believe something, we act on those beliefs—for better or worse. We live our lives based on those beliefs.
Yet at the same time, there are things we should believe—that we don’t. We either dismiss them as untrue—or brush them off as of no consequence to us.
Take Jesus’ disciples… The three women return from Jesus’ tomb and tell them that Jesus is alive! But they dismiss that as “an idle tale…”
And though we may inclined to chide them for their unbelief, we must keep in mind what they’d gone through in the last several days. The same Jesus they witnessed performing amazing deeds of power like healing the sick and raising the dead—had been arrested, tried, and crucified. In their minds, all of this pretty much invalidated everything they’d seen and heard from Jesus beforehand. There simply wasn’t anything to believe about Jesus. He was dead.
His death changed everything—because they didn’t just lose a friend. They lost their teacher; the one who brought God down to earth for them. And they lost their purpose in life.
When Jesus was crucified, their whole world came crashing down.
We all know what that feels like.
We all find ourselves in times of confusion, pain, and darkness. Our world turns upside-down. One day, life is fine; we’re getting by—then the next, everything’s in pieces. Prayers go unanswered; problems keep piling on, and there’s not a single sign of hope on the horizon.
In times like these, it’s a struggle to believe in any good news from God. But that’s not the way we struggle to believe.
The other way we struggle is in believing that Jesus’ resurrection has any meaning for our daily lives. It is so easy to remember it as an event in history—and leave it at that. We know it’ll mean something when we die, but we struggle to connect it to today.
But God did not raise Jesus from the dead so that Jesus could live up in heaven apart from the world he loves. God raised Jesus to live in the world he loves—and in new and powerful ways.
He is alive so that you may live in a relationship with him. That is the gift God gives you this Easter Sunday. He is truly present in God’s Word of promise; in the fellowship we share today; and in the meal where he gives us his body and blood. And he will go with you as you face the daily challenges of life.
Our beliefs have a powerful influence on how we live our lives and the decisions we make on a daily basis—and this is one belief we must act upon.
Because Jesus is alive, we can pray with absolute confidence that God will answer hear every prayer and answer us according to what is truly best for us.
We worship God and open the Scriptures with the faith that Jesus will meet us and fill our hearts and minds with his presence.
We commit acts of bold mercy towards others—with the faith that God can use you just as you are to bring new life to others
We commit acts of bold testimony and witness—using our words and our actions to tell the story of our Savior. Hope that is real is a hope that must be shared.
Facing the future can be quite daunting, with the way things are in this world, and how the passage of time brings changes and losses that make life more difficult. The tragedies and injustices we see all around us have a powerful way of leading us to believe that the world is spiralling out of control—and that there is no hope.
But Jesus is alive, raising up to new life all that is broken and dead. That is the good news we take from the empty tomb. We are commanded by God to believe the good news—because when we believe, we will see the works of Jesus. We will see and know the new life he brings.
If you are ready to live in an active faith, anticipating Jesus bringing you new life in every day, you will see that Jesus’ promises are not idle tales—but unquestionable truths. Jesus will walk with you into the future—answering your prayers; guiding you through times of uncertainty, strengthening you in times of weakness, forgiving you in times of failure; saving you in times of trial.
Seek the risen Jesus where you know he is found—and let Jesus give you a tomorrow full of hope; and a future full of new life.