• 54°

Convincing a skeptic the resurrection is real

This Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.   Easter is the high point of the year for Christians. Some people will get new Easter clothes, men who normally don’t wear a tie will wear a tie to church because, well, it’s Easter and everyone gets dressed up for Easter. Or at least they used to. 

In my early years as a pastor, I thought I had to have a new suit at Easter. I was convinced it would make me preach better. Just joking.

But, as the years went by and we started raising kids, they got new Easter suits and I wore the same one I wore last year.  Now, I don’t even wear a suit at Easter. Yes, I’ve changed. 

Well, suit or no suit, this Sunday is Easter, the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. For most of us who read this, we don’t for a second question Jesus’ resurrection. But there are some who are skeptical and even some who  may not believe in it all. 

Years ago, the governor of a southern state said he didn’t believe in the resurrection. Well, some leaders of the church asked for a meeting with him and after the meeting, he believed in the resurrection.  I hope his conversion was sincere. 

But, the fact is we live in a world where many are skeptics of the resurrection. Yes, there are thousands of people — OK, let’s go with millions of people — who do believe in the resurrection. We do not question it. But there are those who don’t. How can they be persuaded?

Would an Easter sermon do it? It’s possible. There is power in the preaching of God’s word. 

What about an Easter song? Would that do it? There are some powerful ones out there.  Well, it could. There is power in Christian music. 

What about a good Sunday School lesson? Would that do it? It could. There is power in God’s word. 

I don’t want to minimize any of the above three options. Each one has the power to convince a skeptic that the resurrection of Jesus is real. But, what is the best way we can convince someone? 

Well, short of a person being able to literally reach out and physically touch the risen Lord, what would do it? I submit that one of the most effective means is that of the changed life of a Christian. 

One of my favorite old Easter hymns speaks to this:

I serve a risen Savior,

He’s in the world today.

I know that He is living,

Whatever men may say.

I see his hand of mercy,

I hear his voice of cheer.

And just the time I need Him,

He’s always near.

He lives! He lives!

Christ Jesus lives today.

He walks with me,

And talks with me,

Along life’s narrow way

He lives! He lives!

Salvation to impart

You ask me how I know He lives?

He lives, within my heart.

The absolute best way to convince any skeptic or non-believer that Jesus lives is the changed life of a Christian. So this weekend, I hope you will worship somewhere for Easter. But when Easter Sunday is over, and the Easter clothes are hung up, let’s remember that the best proof of the resurrection of Jesus is the changed life of a believer. 

Gregg Potts is a Georgia columnist and a former pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Meadville and Heucks Retreat Baptist Church in Brookhaven.