The millions of changed lives in the last two thousand years argue, experientially, that Jesus is alive, and is who He says He is.
There is something very powerful about a personal testimony. Even in Jesus’ day we hear of a man born blind who was given his sight by Jesus (John 9). The religious leaders could not deny the miracle and twice interviewed the man to authenticate and get to the bottom of his story. When he was challenged to denounce Jesus as a sinner, his explanation was very simple: “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (John 9:25).
Quite honestly, that was my story as well. Jesus has changed me from a driven, insecure, performance-oriented, egocentric man from an alcoholic family to a husband, father, and pastor who unexplainably (apart from God’s grace) has become, on most days, a kind and others-centered follower of Christ.
My story reminds me of a famous old hymn written by John Newton, a man whose life was forever changed from a slave trader to a pastor seeking to abolish slavery through his relationship with Jesus. Read the lyrics to his song and let their message sink into your heart.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I’m found.
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.
At some moment in time, experientially, Christians realize, “I was lost, but now I’m found. I was blind, and now I see.” There is peace, forgiveness, joy, significance, love, and purpose in life. A new spiritual reality becomes normal.
Chip Ingram, Why I Believe: Straight Answers to Honest Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2017).