I believe for the same reason the first believed.
I see Him.
The first Christians believed in the resurrection for a simple reason – they saw Him. The relationship was deeper, of course. The two Mary’s and the Twelve were long-time friends of Jesus and knew His teachings and power. With the resurrection, though, suddenly came clarity. He was The One. They saw why.
Claiming you have seen the risen Jesus generates a variety of responses. Skepticism, accusations of hallucinogenic drug use, and many other objections will be offered as explanations. Nevertheless, there He is – and when you see Him you have to say something.
A few weeks ago a friend sent a 2013 Seattle Times article about Dr. Anne Stevens, a pediatrician in that city. Her older brother is Chris Stevens, the American Ambassador to Libya who was murdered in Benghazi, Libya, September 11, 2012. The article detailed how Dr. Stevens responded to her brother’s death.
She thought the most fitting tribute to her older brother’s life was to complete the work he had started in Benghazi, helping Libyans improve emergency care in the troubled and dangerous city.
Sometimes news matter-of-factly states something that stirs us at a greater depth. I read the sentence several times until I could reword it in a way that revealed the stirring.
She is working to heal the city that killed her brother.
She is bringing healing to the presence of her enemies.
I read the backstory. In 2012, Ambassador Chris Stevens was headed to Benghazi to meet with the leadership of a local hospital. Their conversation was to be about how to equip the facility and train its doctors when tragically, the evening before, Ambassador Stevens was murdered. The meeting never occurred, until one year later when his sister saw that it did.
Whether Dr. Stevens is a Christian I do not know, but her story is a light to me. Jesus said;
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God – Matthew 5:9.
I tell you, love your enemies – Matthew 5:44.
Or perhaps most pointedly – I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. Matthew 5:39 – which Jesus might reword this way,
If an evil person takes the life of your brother, offer your life as well.
Dr. Stevens response is Jesus at work. He is risen from the dead, and through stories such as the one above I clearly see Him.
(a link to the Seattle Times story is here – http://tinyurl.com/pkjmrxt – thank you for reading, if you found Jesus in this please share)