We live in an age when many people consider “science” as the only source of truth. As a trained engineer, I have studied many of the sciences. I have great reverence for solid scientific inquiry. I also know that science, like any other human endeavor, has its flaws and limitations. There are other paths that lead to discovery of truth; and some more reliable than science. One such source of truth is the revelation of God through the Bible. In the Bible, there is a story of lost love and trust that gives us insight into life beyond the grave.
Mary and Martha were sisters and disciples of Jesus. They had followed him for a long time and seen him do many healing miracles. Their brother Lazarus, whom they loved, was ill and they sent for Jesus. Jesus did not come in time and Lazarus died. Three days Lazarus was in the grave, and finally Jesus (who was only in the next town over) came to see the sisters. The sisters were hurt and confused by Jesus’ delay in coming. We pick up the rest of the story from the writings of the Apostle John.
Jn. 11:18-26 (ESV)
Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother [Lazarus]. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Confronted with death, and looking into the eyes of Jesus, Martha had hope that her brother would be raised from the dead in the future resurrection promised in her Jewish tradition. But Jesus did moved beyond religious tradition and did something unexpected. He let Martha know that the resurrection was not some far off event for the future. The resurrection was now, the resurrection was personal, the resurrection was Jesus. Jesus promised that death would no longer have victory, if Martha would simply trust in him. He asked Martha, “do you believe?” Jesus went on to demonstrate the truth of his words with action–he raised Lazarus from the dead.
Jesus restored Martha’s trust, and now the question comes to us 2,000 years later; “do you trust in the resurrection of Jesus?”, “do you believe.?”
A few months ago, I ran across this very discussion on a friends Facebook account. One response from a guy named Michel really hit home. Michael wrote…
I’m willing to suspend my 21st century skepticism when I interpret them.
Today, myths and superstitions are cloaked in the guise of science. Did your doctor prescribe your pills based on evidence from faked clinical trials? Is your investment advisor secretly marketing a pyramid scheme? Did you support a $3 trillion war because of faked intelligence? Were the mathematical formulas supporting the pricing of credit default swaps a house of cards? Is your house still worth what the bank’s appraiser told you it was worth last year?…
In a world where bad science has created a vast desert of shifting sands, I choose to build my house on the rock.
The answer to Jesus question for the 21st Century thinker is “yes.” Yes we can believe. Even in our age of science and reason, we can have confidence that there is life beyond the grave and there is a day of resurrection for those who trust in the salvation hope of Christ. To those who still hold onto science as ‘the’ source of transcendent truth, I offer this reminder–when we value science above all others sources of truth, it leads to a suppression of knowledge and a depression of the soul. “Do you believe?”