Phaaagh! I dreamed that I died in a boot camp training accident. But then, as though my dream needed to top itself, it moved forward as dreams will do to where I was in a museum and telling the curator that I had died in boot camp some years before. He helped me to search for the records. I guess as far as boot camp fish stories go, he had heard it all. Dreams can be so crazy, or maybe the dreamer can be completely nuts, I'm not sure which in this case. It makes me think though why some folks might have a problem believing that Jesus rose from the grave. Of course, that same person might believe in any number of ghosts, zombies, vampires, or other undead things, but whoever said the world was the model of sanity and reason.
The man said He was the Son of God. He predicted the manner of His death and told any who would listen that He would rise again on the third day. He not only performed the resurrection feat, but He told all that He had done it not for Himself, but for the glory of God, an invisible spirit. Do we begin to see why the Good News might be tough for the unbeliever to accept right away? Then we can go into the cleansing blood, the ransom paid on the cross for our sin, and the healing done by whipping someone else. Yeah, if a skeptical, unbelieving person wants a challenge, we got one for 'em.
Which, is why we give the credit to God for enabling us to believe. We also depend on our Lord's Spirit to make room in the unbeliever's heart. I cannot make a person believe. Without the love of Jesus in my heart I could not believe the Good News either. Salvation is the gift of God through His Son, but it isn't by any means easy to go from unbelieving sinner to faith-filled saint. Praise God that 'gift' means I don't have to accomplish the thing. Not one of us would know where to start, what to build, the exercise to perform, or an accomplishment to list to save ourselves. Jesus brought that exotic bit of Good News, and He does the saving. Hallelujah!Bucky