Have you ever been scammed? I was, just a few months ago! We had purchased a new computer and some new programs to go along with it. While installing the new programs, I received a message that there was an error and I needed to call a certain number. Trusting the program and following the instructions I figured this was legitimate. I started talking with a technician and eventually purchased what I thought was a needed additional program. I felt funny with the whole process and called to check a few days later, and yes, I was scammed. I had unknowingly clicked on the wrong website. It was almost exactly like the one listed in the instructions. By the grace of God we were able to get the charges reversed on our credit card and our computer shows no signs of spyware. However, the whole ordeal cost me a day and I had to bear the shame that I had been duped, tricked, fooled, swindled, hoodwinked, and scammed. That day and even a bit after, I was uneasy, wondering where else I had been deceived. I felt fooled, embarrassed, shamed, and unwise. I mean, I am an educated person with, I thought, just enough skepticism to smell a scam, but not this time. Has that ever happened to you? I think most people don’t like being fooled.
The feeling of not wanting to be fooled gets stronger when it comes to our faith and belief in God. Sure, some say all faith in God or spirituality is fooling and many will say that it’s fitting that April Fools Day lands on Easter Sunday this year (this is actually a rare occurrence, the last one was in1956 and the next two are in 2029 and 2040!). Easter Sunday is a High Holy Day for those who call themselves Christians. For we believe in the bodily resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. To some this does seem a bit foolish and actually, if it is not true our faith is foolish. The Apostle Paul put it this way…
1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
That word vain means empty, untrue, and foolish. The resurrection of Jesus is the validation and verification of faith and it is a Biblical truth. Jesus said He would come back from the dead Matthew 20:17-19, Mark 8:31, John 12:23-25. The Bible records Jesus did as He said, and rose from the grave: Mark 16:5-7, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:16-18. One of earliest accounts that has been dated just months after Jesus’ resurrection is a creed found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8:
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve. Then He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared also to me (Paul).
Eyewitnesses saw Jesus alive after He was declared dead and His body had been laid in a tomb. Yet on that Easter Sunday morning -He rose. Here a few more Scriptural accounts of eyewitnesses who saw Jesus alive after His death:
Mary Magdalene John 20:11-18
Other women on that morning Matthew. 28:8-10
Peter Luke 24:34
Two people on the road to Emmaus Luke 24:13-35
The eleven of the disciples, except Thomas John 20:19-24
Thomas and the others John 20:24-29
Faith in the resurrected Jesus is not foolishness to those who believe. Now faith is a choice. What’s your choice? I know for me and my family, and many others, we have found great victory in life, choosing faith in Jesus. Maybe you can too. It’s no April Fools joke.
Church is a great place to learn more about Jesus and the victory of life through faith in Him. If you do not already have a church where you attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has all the information you would need www.cypresschurch.net. Hope to see you some Sunday.
Enjoying the victory of life through faith in Jesus along with you,