Luke 16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'”
Over the years, I’ve been fascinated with the story of the Turin Shroud. It’s the famous medieval cloth that purportedly is meant to be the cloth that Christ’s Body was wrapped up in when He was placed in the tomb. The image found on the cloth is centuries old and it looks like the outline of a crucified man, especially after photographs of the Shroud were looked at in their negative prints.
I’ve never been convinced that this is the true shroud. To me, it’s a discarded canvas that Da Vinci, Michelangelo, or their artistic associates worked on and never finished. The local church in Turin capitalized on their community’s fascination with venerated objects. I guess if the shroud had been recently discovered in someone’s attic, it would end up being sold on Ebay, along with slices of toast that have Christ’s face on them.
Some people need tangible proof of Christ’s Resurrection before they will begin to believe that it actually happened. They want factual evidence, not faith. They want someone to prove that it occurred before they will place all of their lives, hearts, and souls into Christ’s keeping.
But that’s always been the important issue with God: are we willing to trust Him simply on His Word? Are we willing to trust the truth of the Gospels without question, or will we wait until the end of Time to discover it, when all will be revealed? To coin an old Southern preacher: if we wait, it will be too late.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, faith is a hard burden to carry, especially when we try to pin it down and rationalize it. God has set us this test in order to see if we really trust Him. If we fail, we let go of any eternal hope. If we have faith, we win everlasting life. Keep us from complicating this simple challenge. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you have any comment s about today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.