What happens when a CSI-style forensic detective goes to Calvary to investigate what transpired after Jesus’ crucifixion? J. Warner Wallace is a forensic detective specializing in cold-case investigations. As an atheist Wallace became intrigued with the Gospels and their account of Jesus’ resurrection because “the most important question I could ask about Christianity just so happened to fall within my area of expertise. Did Jesus really rise from the dead?” It would prove to be the ultimate cold-case forensic investigation because eyewitnesses and material evidence that could be used to prove or disprove what happened have been gone for nearly 2000 years. As an atheist, Wallace had always assumed that the resurrection was a lie, believing that the twelve apostles “concocted, executed, and maintained the most elaborate and influential conspiracy of all time.”
I want to ask you a simple question: Do you believe in the Resurrection?
And if so, do you believe in your resurrection? Many people will mumble yes but question the idea. I want to clear up one thing about the English language:
There is a dramatic difference between what you believe and what you believe in.
What I believe can mean that I believe my car is parked outside and will be there when I go outside. What I believe in is something different. It’s what or who I trust. This is not believing like my car is parked outside, it’s more like how I believe in my marriage. You see, we invest our time in what we believe in. We change our life for what we believe in. This helps us understand the most popular verse in the Bible:
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
The most difficult problem plaguing Christianity today is not a quantity of belief, but a quality of it. Many Christians have donned bumper stickers, necklaces, tattoos and T-shirts, but the quality of belief has suffered in modern Christianity. Most Christians cannot tell another how to be saved or how to live out the Christian life with any sense of accuracy.
We have substituted the idea of “believing” something for “believing in” something. Ask a happily married couple how much they know about each other. Ask a couple married for decades what they know about each other. The details are significant because decades of two people believing in each other will reveal a great number of details.
We may begin our Christian walk in belief, but as we walk, we not only believe Christ, we believe in Him and as we believe in Him, we come to know Him. It is the entire point of the Christian walk that belief becomes “believe in” or in another word: trust. Trust is a key component for any relationship, even your relationship with God.
The outcome of the investigation of Calvary by J. Warner Wallace led to his transformation:
Wallace concludes: “The resurrection is reasonable. The answers are available; you don’t have to turn off your brain to be a believer.” Wallace went from being a skeptic, to having belief and entrusting his life to Jesus Christ.
The question for us is simple but not easy: Do you believe in the Resurrection? Do you trust it? Do you trust it, not only for your eternity, but for your life? Your answer will have a tremendous impact on the Christianity you live out.