I heard it said on many occasions that one should never discuss politics and religion with family. Although I don’t discuss the two in mixed company, a conversation without politics and religion with the LaGuardias is like eating a cannoli without the cream. Bland and incomplete.
My father and I have debated politics for years. It seems that whatever we do to start our debates differently, we always end them the same way. We come to some sense of understanding and then one of us, (usually the person losing the debate), will say, “Well, I guess we’ll see how it turns out.” To which the other person responds with the colloquial, “It will come out in the wash.”
My father is like a barrel full of wisdom. He has enough sayings to rival Joe Biden’s father. One of those nuggets of wisdom is that we, as humans, cannot figure everything out. There is an uncertainty to life that is par for course, and our need to control the future is an exercise in futility.
Christianity is one of those religions in which we find ourselves enveloped in uncertainty and mystery. But our salvation does not depend upon what we know for certain; rather, it depends on faith in things hoped for and things unseen.
Nevertheless, in my own life, there is something that is certain and sure, a foundational piece of knowledge and experience: The life, death, and resurrection of Christ. I’ve doubted many a thing in my life, but for some reason whenever I consider doubting—even for a second—Christ’s resurrection, I cannot comprehend life without Jesus living in the here and now.
There are many Christians in our world that live out their faith without believing in the literal resurrection of Jesus. It is often said that Jesus’ life alone is sufficient enough for us to access God and receive salvation. Albert Schweitzer, the great theologian and medical missionary of yesteryear, championed this view and lived a life of intense faith in God.
Others simply write off Jesus’ resurrection as a hoax. The resurrection was merely the work of a desperate cult seeking to perpetuate its existence. Faking the resurrection and hiding Christ’s body was the perfect ruse at the perfect time.
For the amount of scrutiny and cynicism that I have brought to the table in all my life’s journey of faith, I still cannot bring myself to question the literal, bodily resurrection of Christ. There is something too deep inside of me that beckons a certainty that lies beyond a shadow of doubt. In my heart’s court of law, all of the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection has withstood the test of time.
Christianity does indeed rest on the claim of the Easter event. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is in vain” (15:14).
Nor does this claim end here. My certainty in Jesus’ resurrection also calcifies Jesus’ return to earth, impending judgment of all creation, and final act of making a “new heaven and earth.” This truth is what drives me to proclaim the message of the cross in the first place, for we all have the opportunity to add our name to the Book of Life because of what Jesus did for us at Calvary.
This Easter season, my father and I will still debate endlessly about politics and will still end on a note of uncertainty. But, in spite of our doubts about what will unfold in society, we both know that our faith is founded upon the certainty that the living, active Lord will have his way when all is said and done. What about you?