SEEING THE UNSEEN! Most people, it seems, think that Christians are a little unhinged because they believe that a person they have never seen but only read about in a book is really God. And not only that but this person died a tragic death and then was resurrected. That, most people believe is utterly impossible. Christians must be really simple minded people. Or, from my perspective, Christians have just found the key to earthly and eternal life. Even in the first century A.D. the over whelming majority of Christians had never physically seen Jesus. The Apostle Peter said, “Though you have not seen him, (speaking of Jesus), you love him; and even though you do not see him now you believe in him,” (1Peter1:8 NIV). But those Christians received the witness of those who had seen Jesus before and after His death and resurrection; those like the Apostle Peter. And the results of their witness were astounding because Peter said that these early Christians were, “filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,” (1 Peter 1:8 NIV). Were these people just simple minded or were these people filled with faith in Jesus because of God’s work in their lives? As Peter explained, “Through Him (Jesus) you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God,”(1 Peter 1:22-23 NIV).
The result of God’s work in the life of these early Christians was, “for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls,” (1 Peter 1:8 NIV). The world, for the most part, really does not understand Christians and their faith. That is easy to understand. If a person does not believe in God, or does not believe the bible is the Word of God, or does not believe the witness of God’s people, or does not respond to the work of God’s Holy Spirit in their lives, how could they possibly have faith that Jesus is the Son of God and that Jesus and His death and resurrection are God’s method of reconciling sinful man to a holy God? And how could they believe that other people could believe that?
It is true that no Christian living today has seen Jesus and we have not seen anyone who has seen Jesus. But God has given us the most reliable witness anyone could have. God has given us His living Word, the bible, and His Holy Spirit to witness to us through His bible, and as Peter explains, “but the word of the Lord endures forever and this is the word that was preached to you,” (1 Peter 1:25 NIV). The written Word of God was preached to the early Christians by the Apostle Peter and it is preached to us today and applied by God’s Holy Spirit. As Christians our faith stands sure and it is on solid ground even if the world doesn’t understand why we believe what we do. It is better to be a “simple minded” Christian receiving “the salvation of our souls” than a skeptic missing the “inexpressible joy” of this life and the promise of a glorious life to come.