Have you ever doubted whether God exists or whether the gospels are true and accurate? Have you ever felt that no-one else shares your dilemma? Well take heart, it is natural and you are not alone.
In the gospel of John (Chapter 20; 1-18), we have the account of when the tomb of Jesus is found to be empty. Now bear in mind, that Jesus had told those around Him repeatedly that He will die but then on the third day He will rise again. In fact there are three accounts of how Jesus made this claim in three successive chapters of Mark (Chapters 8-10). But yet, when Mary arrives at the tomb to find it empty, her response is to say “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him”. It doesn’t even occur to her that he has been raised from the dead. Despite the months and years of teaching from Jesus, when Mary comes face-to-face with the truth, she literally cannot believe it.
We all share that same inability as Mary did, because faith is impossible without supernatural intervention. Faith is a gift from God.
Mary is running around frantically and she doesn’t have the faith to see what is in front of her. Even when Jesus is standing before her she mistakes Him for the gardener. But then Jesus intervenes, He reveals himself to Mary by calling her by name. It is through the intervention of the living God that her faith is restored.
Recommended Prayer: ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you, to bless you with a true and unshakeable faith in Him, to bless you with the eyes to see and the ears to hear Him.
At the end of Tolkien’s trilogy Lord of the Rings, Samwise Gamgee wakes up after having been rescued from the fires of Mount Doom to find Gandalf standing at the end of his bed. He says “Gandalf, I thought you were dead. But then I thought I was dead. Is everything sad going to come untrue?”
Tolkien’s tale is a vivid parable of our story because according to the bible the answer to the question of Samwise Gamgee is “Yes!” We too have been saved from the fires of Mount Doom and in the end everything sad will indeed come untrue.
The bible tells us that when Christ returns, we are not taken out into heaven but heaven will come down to earth and everything will be made new (Rev 21:5). Everything will be restored to how it was when it was first made and that includes creation and it includes us. Just reflect on what that will be like. Think of the most amazing landscape you have ever witnessed and think of it on the day it was first created. Then picture yourself there. Not the man that you are today but your true-self, fully restored. No worries, no broken relationships, no fear, no suffering.
I have to admit that I rarely reflect on this promise it almost feels too glorious to conceive of in this broken world. But I also know, deep in my soul, I yearn for it.
“God set eternity in the heart of man”. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Now watch the following clip from The Return of the King when Frodo wakes up to find that everything sad has come untrue.
Grid Ref is intended to help re-orientate men along the narrow path and are a mixture of personal testimonies and reflections from the A&D Team.