The Fate of Skeptics
On this, the day after Easter, I’m wondering about the fate of skeptics. Are you or do you know someone “who habitually doubts or questions?” That, by the way, is Webster’s definition of a skeptic. There’s always hope for the one who doubts. For questions can lead to answers. And the right answers can lead to right thinking. Right thinking can lead to truth that relieves doubts and offers hope. And hope can change the heart of a skeptic.
To skeptics, Easter is just another pagan holiday turned into whatever we want it to be. Some atheists would quickly inform us the word Easter actually comes from the word Eastre, a pagan goddess whose festivals were in the spring season. The festival represented the rising of the sun, new life and a new beginning.
When Christianity came to northern Europe, the resurrection of the Lord fit into the tradition of new life and a rising. So they decided to call their celebration Eastre or Easter. (Source: Dictionary of Word Origins)
Our Jewish friends might even remind us the word for the Easter festival is taken from the name of the Jewish Passover, namely the Pascal Lamb. No argument there. As Christians, we believe the Pascal Lamb is Jesus the Messiah, the Lamb who was slain for our sins.
Perhaps they’re looking for something we all need, hope. Surely, the need for hope isn’t limited to the church goer or spiritually savvy person. No doubt God can cause a glimmer of hope to flicker in the soul of the most hardened skeptic.
What better time is there than Resurrection Day to open one’s mind to hope? And what better place than the empty tomb to open one’s heart to its message? Just in case it’s all true.
Hope without a solid foundation is wishful thinking. Wishful thinking is not enough for skeptics. And it shouldn’t be enough for us either. As believers, our hope is based on a truth that has passed the tests of time and opposition. God’s truth.
What does this have to do with Easter? What we believe about Jesus’ resurrection is crucial to our assurance of eternal life. That’s great news! But is it enough to give us hope for today?
In John 11:17-27, Jesus gives hope to a distraught Martha after her brother, Lazarus had died. “Your brother will rise again,” he assured her. Martha answered with what she understood to be true about the resurrection. “Yes,” she said, “he will rise when everyone else rises on the last day.”
But that wasn’t enough for the grieving sister. She needed hope, not just for the future but for that day. Jesus restored her hope when he gave her brother back to her, alive.
There are times when you and I can identify with Martha’s grief. We look forward to our future resurrection. But what does this have to do with today’s heartache and fears? In John 10:10, Jesus assures us He came to give us a full and meaningful life now. Regardless of our circumstances. But there’s only one way to experience the abundant life Jesus offers. That is, by allowing the Spirit of the resurrected Christ to live in and through us.
Our fate, as well as the fate of the skeptic depends upon our answer to the question Jesus asked Martha. Consider the following verse as Jesus’ promise and question to you. Then, insert your name in place of Martha’s and give God your answer.
“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this, _______________?” (John 115-26 NLT)
For those who believe, Easter offers a message of promise and profound hope. Hope for today, tomorrow and forever! That’s the promise of Resurrection Day for you, for me and for skeptics, as well. If only we will open our minds and hearts to the glimmer of hope God has put there.
How has God given you hope by answering your questions with truth?