Monday, April 16, 2007

I Need a God Who Can

Do you find it hard to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Sometimes I find it hard to comprehend. But that is ok, I am not alone. The disciples had spent three years with Jesus, and still they did not understand when they found the tomb empty. The scriptures tell us in Luke that when the women returned from the tomb and told the disciples that Jesus had risen, they didn't believe them. "But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense." Luke 24;11 NIV It is hard to believe in something that is not a normal part of life. It seems like nonsense to us too.

People die all the time. The papers carry an obituary sectionevery day, but I have yet to see a paper that carries a resurrection section. People die...but they just don't rise from the dead. The story of Jesus rising from the dead is hard to believe. It is just not a natural part of every day life. Have you ever known someone to go to the cemetary looking for living people? The women in the gospels didn't! They went expecting to find a corpse. Not just someone who was in cardiac arrest and in need of CPR. They expected to find a body dead for three days.A body with rigor mortis, a body already starting to decay. Yet, what they expected...they didn't find. Instead of a body, they found and empty tomb and a risen Lord!

I need a God like this. I need a God that does things beyond what I can comprehend. I can't comprehend bodies raising from the dead. That just does not make sense to me. I need a God that can do things that I can't figure out. I want a God that is bigger than anything I can figure out and understand.

I want a God that does supernatural things! I don't want a God that is limited by the natural. I need a God who does things that can't be explained on the History and Discovery Channels.

If I am able to comprehend all that God does, then God is no bigger than my mind. If God is only able to function within the realm of my comprehension, then God is no bigger than the human mind. I need a God that is not confined by my understanding. I want a God bigger than anything I can possible think of. A God which nothing can confine.

We attempt to confine God all the time. We try to keep him contained where we can control him. They attempted to contain Jesus by using his mortality. They thought, "If we kill him, that will contain him." Surely death will hold him. But to be sure,they attempted to contain him with rock and stones, sealed within a tomb. And if that is not enough,they placed a gaurd upon the tomb.

The Roman gaurd placed on the tomb was nothing to be trifled with. In today's world, it would be like being gaurded by team of Navy seals. Yet, death could not contain him, the tomb could not hold him, and the Roman Gaurd fled in fear. I want a God like that. One that nothing I can think of can contain him.

Paul writes in Ephesians 3:20-21 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." I want a God that is immeasurably more than anything I can think of, greater than my wildest imagination.

A God like that is able to accomplish things, that if it were up to me would remain unsolved and unresolved. Situations that seem hopeless, now find hope in a resurrected Lord. Broken people and broken lives can be restored by the power of a resurrected Lord. Addictions and issues that seem more than I can cope with, Jesus is able to overcome. I know this, because even death can not hold him.

I need a God that great! I need a God that is so big, everything else I face in lifebecomes small in comparison. With him, all things are possible. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

A resurrected Lord...difficult to comprehend. Itmakes no earthly sense. So I turn to faith. I chose to believe something I can't see. I chose to believe in something that is greater than me. Jesus once said if we have faith the size of a grain of a mustard seed we can move mountains. I believe. I need a God like Jesus I can believe in. I need a Lord that although he once was dead, now HE LIVES!!

Author John Phipps, Pastor of the First United Methodist Church, Wayensburg, PA

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