1 Corinthians 15:14 - And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
Beyond any shadow of a doubt, the question is can you believe in the Christ beyond any shadow of a doubt?
About 70 years ago, a man in San Francisco was on trial for murder.
Things didn't look good; this is why his lawyer got creative. In his final remarks, the attorney said, "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if you have the slightest doubt, you must find my client not guilty of murder; which is why I am bringing in my final witness. I have found the real murderer, and he is sequestered outside the courtroom. I now ask the police to bring him in through the side door."
Eyes swung towards the door in expectation, but no one came in. After a reasonable period, the lawyer concluded: "The fact that you looked at that door proves you have a doubt."
The jury retired to consider the pros and cons of the case. It didn't take them long. They returned within the hour and declared the accused to be guilty. The judge passed sentence, and the defense lawyer angrily turned to the jury. He challenged, "I proved beyond question that you had a doubt."
The accusation did not go unanswered.
One of the jurymen stood up and replied, "Sir, when most people looked towards the door, I watched your client. He didn't look towards that door because he knew no one was coming through. Why? Because he's the guilty one."
Can you believe, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that Christ has risen from the dead, and you are forgiven because of His sacrifice? That is the key question, isn't it? Paul says as much in 1 Corinthians 15:14 where he wrote: "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain." Everything hinges on that word: "if."
In our present age, as in every age, the devil, the world, and our own sinful natures love to derail the faith of believers by convincing them that "Jesus hasn't risen. It's a hoax, a joke, a foolishness played upon a gullible world by the disciples."
Well, all I can say is Peter was a witness of the resurrection and he stayed a witness. When Rome crucified him, according to tradition, upside down, he stayed a witness. All the others, in the face of terrible pain and persecution, stayed witnesses to what they had seen.
Today the Spirit calls on every living soul to trust Peter and the others. The Lord tells us, "Hear My Word; believe in the apostle's witness."
Let the Holy Spirit give you faith and forgiveness, hope and heaven. Stand with the apostles and look inside Jesus' tomb. There is no body there. Look and believe: Jesus has arisen. The disciples, Christ's witnesses, give us a trustworthy truth, which God's enemies have never been able to contradict.
See, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the living Lord has walked through the doorway of death and now grants eternal life to all who believe.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that in this world there are no facts more certain than the physical resurrection of the Redeemer from the dead. May all those who are unsure be given a faith that believes beyond any shadow of a doubt. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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