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Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (Hebrews 11:2)

The time after Easter Sunday is a good time to read the Bible stories of the days after the crucifixion. Looking at the events helps to examine the meanings of faith and belief, seen and unseen.

Dave and I were in Denver in March. We flew in on Wednesday, knowing that a storm was due on Thursday. It started snowing during the night between Wednesday and Thursday. It snowed all day on Thursday. It snowed through much of the night Thursday. 

It was a 24-hour snowstorm which is unusual. 

It largely shut down the city. VERY unusual. 

The snow on my mother’s back porch table eventually ended up with 10 inches of snow.

Snow in the foothills reached several feet. It was a banner snowstorm for the area ski resorts and gave them a few additional weeks for their ski season. 

According to the National Weather Service, the storm didn’t happen.

The official measuring point for the NWS is Denver International Airport. DIA is located on old farm fields on the edge of the plains of Denver. Did you know that Denver is not only the Mile-High City, it is also the Queen City of the Plains. The plains are at a mile-high altitude, but they are still flat, and snow on the ground at DIA is quickly blown away.

Even though there were hundreds of thousands of people who saw the snow, who experienced the snow, officially it never happened.

I can believe the story because I saw it. My grandchildren are just going to have to believe dear ol’ Gran when she tells them about the day Denver shut down.

The post-crucifixion stories tell us about people who heard but didn’t see, who saw but didn’t believe, who saw and did believe.

Matthew is the only account to mention that “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” (Matthew 27:51-53)

Don’t you think there would be a little more information in our history books about these zombies descending on Jerusalem? Did people see it? Didn’t all these resurrections surprise people? It’s mentioned so matter-of-factly in the Bible as if it was nothing. What are we to believe?

Mark relates that Mary told the disciples that she had seen Jesus at the tomb, but they didn’t believe her. Jesus met with two other disciples, who also reported it to the rest. Again, they didn’t believe. Then Jesus “appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.” (Mark 16:14)

I can understand that the women weren’t believed, but really, the women and some of your best friends? And yet they didn’t seem particularly surprised that Jesus suddenly appeared while they were eating. And then to be chided by the one that you’ve been denying!

And of course, there’s the story of Doubting Thomas who wouldn’t believe Christ’s resurrection until he was able to touch the wounds.

Do you have faith because you have seen? What did you see that gave you that faith?

Do you have faith even though you haven’t seen anything to prove that faith? What did it take to give you that faith?

Ann Iona Warner


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