Easter makes faith personal

His words are living words because he is alive.   

What is faith? Maybe Hebrews 11:1 comes to mind: "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Faith is belief in things for which there is no evidence. It's beyond scientific proof. So we have this large body of beliefs or doctrines, but we have no proof that any of what we believe exists. It is precisely because there is no proof for these things that we need the intervention of the Spirit to believe them. The Spirit is the one who empowers us to be "certain of what we do not see." And that's faith.

But when we understand faith to be a supernaturally wrought adherence to a body of beliefs for which there is no evidence, our definition fits other religions as well. Just like a Christian, a Muslim believes in things for which he has no hard evidence. Just like a Christian, a Buddhist has a body of doctrine that he too holds firmly. And just like a Christian, a spirit is involved in leading these other adherents to cling firmly to their beliefs. It just isn't the Holy Spirit. Instead it is the one who has been blinding mankind to God's truth since Eden.

So what, then, is the ultimate difference between the faith of a Christian and the faith of a Muslim or Buddhist?

Easter.

Easter moves faith beyond the realm of adhering to a body of beliefs and into the realm of clinging to a living person. Easter makes faith personal.

Easter affects how we view the Word

Muhammad, the founder of Islam, laid out a system of beliefs in the Koran. And so his followers, who cherish that system of beliefs, will travel to the western part of Saudi Arabia, to Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the Mosque of the Prophet), located in Medina. There they will visit Muhammad's bones. Those who come to Medina are not really connected to the man, but to his maxims. How could they be connected to the man? His corpse is right there!

Over four centuries before Christ was born, Gautama Buddha ate a dish of wild mushrooms, grew sick, and died. His body was cremated. The 360 million Buddhists around the world believe Gautama's teachings can bring them enlightenment, but they don't think the man can do a thing for them. They know he's nothing but ashes.


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