The word “story” can sometimes be synonymous with “tall tale” or something made up. But what do we call a story that corroborates another? If it’s from a trustworthy source, we call it authentication.
What if I told you there’s a story that corroborates Jesus’s resurrection, and it comes from a source so trustworthy we can see it with our own eyes? In fact, it’s been staring us in the face our entire lives.
So if you’re like me and you sometimes find it difficult to believe in the resurrection of Jesus, might I suggest turning to the book of God’s creation? If you have a tendency to question the things you can’t see, at least give serious consideration to the things you can.
Sleeping and Waking
It might lead you to ponder something as obvious as your nightly routine. When you lay your head on your pillow every night, it’s as if you become “dead to the world.” Your consciousness leaves, you enter into a place of darkness and solitude, and you’re even lying flat and still on your back, eyes closed in a corpse-like posture.
Then comes the morning. Your eyes begin to flutter. Your body and mind stir back to life. And you rise with the sun.
If we believe God designed our bodies with utmost intentionality, then why did he design us to sleep? Any doctor or scientist could tell you the numerous benefits our bodies get from sleep. But God, the Creator, could’ve given us those benefits by any number of methods. So why did he choose sleep? Why did he create us to be functionally lifeless for a third of our lives? Could it be that in the daily cycle of sleeping and waking, God is reminding his children again and again that resurrection is not a tall tale but something woven through the fabric of his creation?
We might ask other questions: Why did God give us seasons? Why did he design the earth with its tilted rotation, orbit, and proximity to the sun in such a precise way to give us this death-to-life cycle? Why do trees and plants wither and die in the fall and lie dormant (in many cases buried in the “grave” of dirt) in the winter, only to burst forth out of the ground, and out of barren branches, with new life in the spring? God didn’t have to design it this way. But he did.
Could it be that in the daily cycle of sleeping and waking, God is reminding his children that resurrection is not a tall tale but something woven through the fabric of his creation?
Why does the caterpillar bury itself in a cocoon and come out as a butterfly? Why does the acorn go into the ground and come out as an oak tree? Why does the bear go into a cave to hibernate and then resurface at winter’s end? Why does the sun disappear below the horizon each night and reappear the following day, spreading warmth and light into the darkness? Why do so many “deaths” in nature—forest fires, floods, decaying plants and animals—actually create ideal conditions for the generation of new life? Why is it that when a baby is born into this world, it must emerge from the depths of the womb?
All these questions from God’s creation are pointing to one answer—resurrection. And that answer is no accident.
Psalm 53:1 opens with a strong statement: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Although I’ve been a Bible-believing Christian nearly my entire life, I admit I still struggle with doubt. I’m constantly asking myself basic, fundamental questions: Is God real? Can I trust the Bible? Did Jesus actually come back to life?
In those moments of doubt, I often return to the story of creation, which helps me better understand the words of the psalmist here. It’d be foolish of me to witness these signs and wonders and still say in my heart, This is all just a coincidence. There’s no meaning or purpose to anything I see in nature. There’s no God behind this incredible design.
Paul says as much when he writes of pagans in Romans 1:19–20:
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
God’s creation is such a powerful general revelation that we’re “without excuse,” Paul argues. That’s a pretty strong endorsement of nature’s potential to corroborate the truth of God’s Word.
If creation is indeed telling a story, it’s safe to say that story has an Author.
If creation is indeed telling a story, it’s safe to say that story has an Author. Christians would say it’s the very same Author as the Scriptures, which is why what we see in God’s creation supplements what we see in God’s Word.
And it’s in God’s Word that we learn how the Author became flesh and dwelt among us. He entered into the story he was already telling, the one that gave us image after image, glimpse after glimpse, picture after picture of the death, burial, and resurrection he himself would eventually endure. The death and resurrection of Christ isn’t a tall tale; it’s the foundation of our existence, the basis of our hope.
C. S. Lewis said, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” We can believe in the resurrection because the Creator has rendered it in vibrant color at every corner of the universe. The more we learn to pay attention to it, the more we’ll see everything else in its light.