Humanly, it is impossible for anyone to believe the dead can be raised, or that Jesus died on a cross over two thousand years ago. It is impossible humanly for us to believe, Jesus laid in the grave for three days and then by his own power raise himself from the dead. It is also impossible to believe in an eternal kingdom to come and that a God we cannot see is able to give us eternal life. For us to believe, we will need good evidence, and sometimes even when the evidence presented itself, we will seek to confirm the evidence that is confirming the truth.
Let us take for example the attitude of the Pharisees and the witnesses that were at the tomb of Lazarus the friend of Jesus who was raised from the dead after being in the grave for four days. Coming to the grave, Jesus called out to his friend Lazarus, now the people were mourning the death of Lazarus, and hearing that Jesus was coming to town many of the Pharisee’s enemies of Jesus came to see what he would do in this situation.
They knew Lazarus was Jesus’ close friend, and the question on their minds was to asked if Jesus would raise his friend from the dead. Standing at the Tomb, Jesus spoke these words, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
Jesus wanted the people to know he was the resurrection, that he was eternal life, and that it was for their benefit he came to raise Lazarus from the dead. And with a loud voice, Jesus said, “Lazarus, come out!” And out came Lazarus, and all the people saw and believed the impossible except for the enemies of Jesus’ who thought is a loss now that many were turning to Jesus Christ who for their benefit prove he was the Messiah.
Instead of leaving their old life to embrace the truth and Jesus who had before their eyes demonstrated God’s power and his relationship to God to be able to do these things, the enemies of Jesus set out to plot and kill him. The fear of the Pharisees was that they were losing the loyalty of the people, their response to what Jesus did was to find a way to kill him because they fear Rome would march in and take the country by force.
“Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
Because of their pride, the Pharisees couldn’t accept the impossible, the normal operations of God’s power and hope to come in the kingdom of God soon to appear on earth. Jesus came to offer eternal life, but because we were born in sin, we are not willing to accept what we cannot believe. In the eyes of those rejecting Jesus, it is impossible to believe God can raise the dead either because we are unwilling to accept the evidence or because we are not born again.
Humanly, it is impossible to believe because of our sin nature, because we are living according to the flesh, and because we are depending on the life of the blood that flows through our bodies. But when we come to accept Jesus Christ, he will give us his life, his Holy Spirit and by the power and new life of the Spirit, we will find it possible to believe that a man can die and after three days rise himself to eternal life. But not because we as human beings can train ourselves to believe what we desire, but because the reality of God will come to us because the Holy Spirit will open our eyes to the truth.
Believing the truth that God came in the flesh, died on the cross, and rose from the grave is the act of the Holy Spirit in the believer. The power to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior and to serve him come from the power of the Holy Spirit, not our human nature. The nature of the human can only comprehend one thing, what it sees with the natural eye, and what it knows about the fallen world, but when Christ comes into the life of the believer, he will see beyond the natural world, he will see the hand of God and the kingdom of God.