Let me share a true story about a bear. It was a hot summer afternoon in July and I was in the staff kitchen at St. John washing dishes when Judi and Jo Ann rushed in with the exciting news that a bear had been sighted just outside the building. My immediate thought was, “I want to see it.” So I walked outside peering in the direction of the bear sighting. Later it was reported that I went out “chasing the bear.” I did not see or chase the bear.
Since I was told there was a bear, I wanted to see the bear. Maybe it was on the other side of the building so I went to investigate. On the way someone showed me a tiny digital picture of a black spot she said was a bear. But I was unconvinced. Cautiously, I looked outside every door and window. There was no bear to be seen.
This incident has caused me to think about the resurrection of Christ. We have been told that Jesus rose from the dead. Do we simply believe it at face value? Most of us have the same inclination I did about the bear. We want to see it. We want to see the evidence of the resurrection. So we set out on a journey to find it. Along the way we even see evidence. Because our eyes have not literally seen the resurrection we find it hard to believe.
I never did see the bear. I also have never seen the resurrection of Jesus. Because I trust Judi and Jo Ann I have to believe that there truly was a bear at church. They would not make this up. Well, maybe they would as a prank. But others saw the bear also.
It’s the same with the resurrection. I come to trust the witness of the women and men who not only saw Jesus dead and then alive, but those who have experienced the newness of life that comes from asking Christ into their lives. It is this resurrection hope that is ours for the claiming. May Easter bring this new hope into your lives.