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Free Will and the Resurrection

December 22, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

When Jesus rose from the dead, He only showed Himself to a select group of His followers before ascending to Heaven.  He could have showed Himself to literally everybody, thereby showcasing and proving beyond reasonable doubt that He is God, but He didn’t do that.

It made me wonder why He didn’t show Himself to everybody.  I could think of a couple of reasons.

  1. Showing Himself to everybody will definitely display all His power and might.  People will follow and obey Him henceforth.  Although that looks all nice and what-not, the level of freedom that people operate with to come to such a decision seems limited.  They’re not following Jesus out of love for Him; they’re doing it just because He has proven that He is God, and everything that comes with that.  In other words, they’re doing it out of fear.  And God doesn’t want us to love Him out of fear, for such isn’t true love at all.
  2. To the truly obstinate, no show of force or grandiose display of miracles will ever convince them to believe.  Their hearts are closed to the truth, and for such people, showing off one’s power is just a waste of time.

The way I see it, this all comes back to the concept of God respecting the gift of free will that He has given to us.  And in this case, not showing off after the Resurrection gives people the full freedom to choose to believe or not.

Discretion is a tool to ensure the element of free will is still preserved.  No one has to make a choice to do good or simply not to sin out of duress.

On a related note, discretion is how the devil seems to work in this world.  The enemy doesn’t want people to believe he exists, otherwise to blatantly show his hand in how he influences evil in the lives of people will ironically strike fear in everyone’s heart, so much so that we wouldn’t be sinning anymore.  This, in a way, is also wrong, because we’re not choosing to avoid sin out of love but out of fear instead.

I could be wrong here, of course.  There could be a much deeper and even completely different meaning to how Jesus handled his public relations post-Resurrection.  But based on how I understand God’s design for the free will He has given to us, this makes sense (at least to me anyway).

I think in the end, Jesus didn’t need to show Himself to everybody.  The testimony of the few that saw Him before He ascended, in how they lived and literally died for His sake, is enough proof to show that He lived again.  And ultimately it’s through God’s grace that we believe, for faith is a gift given to those who with an open mind seek the Truth of our existence.

Whether we believe or not, God has designated for each one of us a particular path to salvation.  Though, in my opinion, doing things your own way is like journeying towards salvation on “hard mode.”  Fortunate are the ones who have been called to follow the path that Jesus laid out for us, for we are already on the direct route towards Him – should we choose to follow Him.

Categories: Religion

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