Written by Fr. Dale Minor - Reclaim Ministry - Rutland, OH
February? It can’t be February, can it? And is that the right spelling? Nobody says, Feb-brew-airy! Just like no one pronounces Wednesday the way it is spelled. And what about the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl. Surely that can’t be right! (Sorry, I just had to get that in, Go Bengals !)
Well, there are a lot of things in life which won’t necessarily appear to be right, yet are true, and there are a lot of things in scripture which seem to be impossible, but we know they are true. We know by faith. The whole story of Creation doesn’t make sense based on logic which itself comes mostly from experience. Yet individuals spend a lifetime, and our government is spending trillions trying to discern the origins of the universe. Why? Because it is a mystery, and most people perceive a mystery as a problem to be solve, while God’s mysteries are truths to be believed by faith and celebrated as facts to be revealed when and if God chooses.
How about the Exodus. Did all those plagues really happen in Egypt? Did the Sea of Reeds part and the waters stand up like walls? (Ex.14:29) and, did the Hebrews really wander around in the wilderness for forty years while their sandals and their clothing did not wear out? (Dt. 8:4; Neh. 9:21) Did the walls of a great city like Jericho collapse with no more effort than having a tribe of people walk around outside its walls seven times and then let out a mighty shout? (Josh. 6:20)
There are literally dozens of examples like this in scripture; different unbelievable events occurring in different places and with different circumstances, but they have one thing in common; -- the faith of the people. When people of faith are obedient to the word of God, miraculous things happen. And even as you are a witness, logic tries to convince you, “That can’t be right.”
Consider what we know about Jesus. Minute details of his life were foretold centuries before His birth. Details such as the place of His birth, Bethlehem of Judea (Micah 5:2), that his family would take him to Egypt (Hos. 11:1), and then settle in Nazareth (Mt. 2:23, oral tradition) Scholars long knew He would come from humble beginnings, yet would be considered a king (Zech. 9:9) and that He would suffer for our sins. (Is. 53)
These prophecies, and many others going back hundreds, even a thousand years, revealed the Messiah, yet when Jesus came, the scholars did not recognize Him. Is it possible that the Gospel writers pulled all these prophecies together and created a character to fit? This is highly unlikely since these writers were mostly uneducated men coming from a variety of backgrounds and without access to libraries, etc. Even King Herod had to call in his scholars who in turn had to search the scriptures to determine that the Messiah was to have been born in Bethlehem. (Mt. 2:4) To think that anyone could make up a story that so neatly fit all of the Old Testament prophecies is perhaps more difficult to believe than are the events themselves.
Then, we have the eyewitnesses to the death and resurrection of Jesus. We are given testimony that Jesus suffered and died on a cross; that He was entombed for three days, then the tomb was miraculously opened and over five hundred people saw him alive before He ascended into heaven. (1 Cor. 15:6) Surely these provide sufficient proof that the story is true, as unlikely as it may seem to questioning minds?
How about you? Is Jesus alive in you? Do you have the Holy Spirit dwelling within you such that He is your constant strength and your guide? Does He comfort you in time of sorrow, does He give you hope when the world around you is in chaos? Then, what more is there to know? You are His witness, for the Lord God has revealed Him to you. And you know in your heart the stories are true. They are true, and it is all very right!