In Romans 4:18-22, Paul speaks of the faith of Abraham, saying,
“Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.”
Abraham believed despite challenges to his faith; against hope, he believed in hope. Now that is not to say that Abraham believed even when all the evidence said he should not. After all, Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as the evidence of things hoped for; faith necessitates evidence. What this really suggests is that Abraham believed despite some existing conditions that would seem to contradict his hope. He believed despite his age. God could bring life from the deadness of his body and Sarah’s womb. He was fully convinced that what God promised, He was able to perform. God would give him an innumerable host of children, like the sands of the sea shore or the stars of heaven. Whenever Abraham looked down at the ground or up at the sky, he would remember God’s promise. Despite there being some evidence not to hope, he believed in the more abundant evidence for him to hope.
Paul gives us the modern application of this in Romans 4:23-25,
“Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
In the same way Abraham believed in God, we ought to trust in the resurrected Christ. We must believe in the resurrection despite some evidence to the contrary. There exists plenty of skepticism today concerning the resurrection of Christ; and the reasons are all across the board. Some say He never existed to resurrect. Some say his resurrection is no more significant than any other false religion that claims a resurrected character. Others say his resurrection was a fake, a hoax, a conspiracy; much like the Jewish leaders tried to say in Matthew 28:11-15 (we have discussed these examples in recent weeks).
There are proposed reasons not to believe in the resurrection; but there are far greater evidences to support it. One would be that the most historically and consistent ancient document, our Bible, substantiates and gives witness to His resurrection. Also, the resurrection is consistent with the miracles of Christ. In John 3:1-2, Nicodemus told Jesus that he had to be from God, because no person could do the miracles He had done, except God be with Him. It would not make sense that Christ was given the seal of approval by God from all His other miraculous work; yet, God would leave Him in the grave at the end of it all. But even other historical factors outside of Scripture prove the resurrection. When you look any ancient historical account that gives witness to the historicity of Christ, none of them record a cadaver filled tomb. No Jew, no heretic, no anti-Christ ever made the claim, “just go look back at His tomb, and you will find His body there; He is not risen, check for yourselves.” Despite some arguments contrary to our hope, we ought to believe in the greater evidence that substantiates our hope in the risen Savior.