I must admit that I grow weary of the charge that Christianity rests not upon fact or history but faith -- blind faith at that. It is the worst of lies and it creates doubt in the hearts and minds of the faithful. We let the smug talking heads of academia and erudition to tell us that the Bible is a book of myth and legend, that few of the facts of Scripture correlate with any real history, and that none of it matters because, after all, we take it all by faith (sort of like a grain of salt). What a foolish lie we have been fed and what fools we are to believe it or to worry about it. Among the more than 500 witnesses was someone who lived in the same household, did not believe the claims of the Lord, and who ended up believing and becoming one of the most important leaders of the early church. This James knew that Jesus had not died a symbolic death but one as real as death can be. This James knew that Jesus was not raised a spirit or a ghost but real flesh and blood -- though glorified. This James who lived with the fact of Jesus in flesh was not going to surrender his integrity and his future for a myth or a legend but only for the real crucified and risen Savior.
My friends, faith is not a pie in the sky when you die. It is not a made up truth for fearful or superstitious people who feel like the need to believe something. We have not only a solid written record of eyewitnesses but a faith that has been scrutinized with more intensity than just about anything else in this life. We also have a faith that does not ask you to swallow a whale of a tale but to listen, hear, and the Holy Spirit will teach your fearful and stubborn heart to believe, trust, and rejoice in promise given and promise kept in Christ Jesus. His life embodies our hope -- a hope that is built not on an imagination but a death more real than any other death and a life more real that any other life. Let us learn from James to believe without fear and confess with courage the fact of our salvation in Christ crucified and risen.
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