How to Find Truth
The fact that Jesus’ rose from the grave is central to the Christian faith. If Jesus’ death on the cross was the end of the story, Christianity would have died with Jesus 2000 years ago. But on Easter Sunday, we celebrate a risen Lord. Jesus is alive! The grave could not hold Him. The devil could not defeat Him. The world could not destroy Him. He has risen! (John 11:25)
Do you have any doubt that Jesus rose from the dead? Even one of His very own disciples (Thomas) doubted. In John 20, we discover four vital steps to find the truth… the truth about Who Jesus is and what He came to do; the truth about the empty tomb and Jesus’ resurrection.
How To Find the Truth (overcome doubts)…
1) Run after the truth! (John 20:1-10)
There was a lot of running going on that first Easter morning! Mary Magdalene finds the stone rolled away so she runs to tell Peter and John. Then, Peter and John literally race to the tomb to see what happened. We know it was a race because John makes clear that he won! (John 20:4;8)
John tells us, when Peter gets to the tomb, he goes straight in and discovers the tomb is empty! John peers in after Peter and sees the same thing. Jesus’ body is gone; the grave is empty. Then John writes: He saw and believed! John 20:8b. There is no doubt that the secure tomb was now empty. With the stone rolled away, Jesus’ followers wanted to know the truth about what happened! If you want to know the truth, don’t walk to find it, run!
2) Open your eyes! (John 20:11-18)
After weeping near the tomb entrance, Mary encounters Jesus, though at first she doesn't recognize Him. Why? We don’t know for certain… maybe He was far away; maybe her eyes were filled with tears; maybe the sun had not yet risen fully; or maybe she just wasn’t expecting to see Him! After all, the last time she had seen Jesus, He was dead on the cross. But when did she recognize Jesus? When He called her name. When she heard Jesus say her name, she ran to hug Him as tightly as she could!
In John 10, Jesus said: 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:14-15. When we studied this text earlier in this series, we learned a lot about sheep. For one, that sheep are not the brightest or most capable animals in the world; but one remarkable trait in sheep is that they can clearly recognize the voice of their personal shepherd… a shepherd they desperately need for guidance, protection and care. Mary knew Jesus, her good shepherd, when He called her name.
Do you recognize Jesus’ voice? Do you know Him, not simply as a great teacher, a popular icon, or significant historical figure, but do you know Him as Savior and Lord of your life? Do you recognize Him as your good shepherd who has laid down His life for you? We all desperately need the good shepherd!
3) Expect the truth to be revealed! (John 20:19-21)
After Jesus’ crucifixion, His disciples were scared to death! They’re cowering together, hidden away with doors locked tight. And who could blame them? They knew what happened to Jesus. And, in their minds, they could be next! But Jesus showed up and offered them exactly what they needed at just the right time… Peace!
Jesus had already told His disciples, just a few days earlier… 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
In the New Testament, the primary Greek word for “peace” is eirene, and it refers to rest and tranquility. You may be looking for peace in your life these days; maybe your life has been chaotic; your relationships have been filled with strife; your world spinning out of control; you find yourself living in fear and uncertainty. You want to experience peace in your life. Surrendering your life to Jesus doesn’t mean your life will be perfect; but in the midst of the chaos, He offers you kind of peace you will find in nothing and no one else. He gives you the help you need to make life work!
Jesus knew His disciples were afraid and lost without Him! But He showed up, and He offered them what they needed most, peace. Most importantly, Jesus offers us peace with God. Our sin has broken our relationship with Him. To be at peace with God, accept Jesus, by faith, as Savior and Lord. (Romans 5:1). Jesus offers us exactly what we need in our chaotic world… Peace! (John 16:33)
4) Show some faith! (John 20:24-29)
Jesus’ disciple, Thomas, was a skeptic. For a skeptic, seeing is believing. Some people today are still skeptical about Jesus. Jesus answered Thomas’ doubts by showing Him the nail holes in His hands. When Thomas saw, He believed! 29 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
The truth is, Jesus isn’t likely to appear to you to show you the nail holes in His hands; but does He really need to? You could ask questions about Jesus for the rest of your life, but at some point, you must show some faith! The Bible defines faith this way: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1.
Maybe you have been skeptical about Jesus, for whatever reason; maybe you doubt He can change your life; maybe you doubt He is Messiah; maybe you doubt He was raised from the dead. Do you know what Jesus would say to you? “Stop doubting and believe!” Open your heart to Him. Surrender your life fully to Him as Savior and Lord! (Romans 10:10). You can find the truth!
For much more, click here to listen to: Light in the Darkness - Part 16 - How to Find the Truth.