Over the past week there's been much discussion on the so-called Jesus family tomb. Evidence was presented and evidence was refuted. It's very interesting and I'm very interested in it.
But let's face it, I do not believe in Jesus because of empirical, scientific evidence. I believe in Him, in His death and resurrection, because I want to. If I didn't want to believe I simply wouldn't. Now, that's not to say I believe blindly—I do put creedence in the New Testament witnesses. I think they are telling the truth, not lies. The story as told touches not only my mind but also it touches my intuitional faculty, commonly known as my heart.
So now because my religion is a matter of the heart it's a love-relationship, and a very powerful one. It's not a financial matter, not an intellectual one, not even primarily a moral or ethical matter. It began with love and it grows by love.
When I was young I had teachers and role-models who showed me love and taught me the gospel. If there had been no love in the teacher then I would have perceived no love in the gospel. That's why, by the way, I think so many have come out of the churches without faith—because of the lack of love with which they were taught. It's an old story and sad.
Now I find myself in midlife and I still believe. I find my belief makes my love stronger and my love makes my belief stronger. Conversely when my love is weak, because I am depressed or angry or just contrary, then my faith is also weaker. I've learned that I shouldn't expect to get away with practicing faith without love, or love without faith. To attempt either would be powerless and frustrating.
Here's another way of saying this. I could say I really do like the Jesus I see in the New Testament and I really do like the Jesus I see in other believers. I really do love the idea of resurrection and all the benefits it brings to the hopeful person. I like it. I want more of it. I want it so much I orient myself toward it. I identify with it. I am biased toward it. Yes, I am. But why wouldn't I be biased toward what I love? Anybody would favor who or what they love. They'd be crazy not to.