Day 5 – Truth or Fiction?

Your Next 40 Days - Day 5


Matthew 28:5-7, 16-17


I love books. I love the experience of reading books; turning the pages, writing notes in the margins and highlighting parts in yellow.

Ironically, you’re likely reading this on a laptop, tablet or smart phone… but I still love books.

So naturally I like bookstores. I like the smell, the music playing in the background and the various sections from which to browse.

But one area of the bookstore that I avoid is the fiction section. I’m not sure why, but I’ve just never been interested in the genre. If it’s not true, why read it? At least sections like history, sports, finance, theology or psychology have a chance of being true.

But fiction is what it is…fiction. It doesn’t even try to hide it, it admits it up front: “What you’re about to read isn’t true but please read it anyway.”

Perhaps, the most challenging statement to comprehend or even believe in the Bible is the one made in today’s reading. “He is not here, He is risen just as He said.”

How do you respond to it? Do you see it as history? Do you see it as fiction? What would it take to convince you it was true?


Belong – Because you can belong before you believe.
Even if you have a hard time believing Jesus was raised from the dead, how does the passage encourage you to keep seeking answers? (v17)

Believe – Because those who belong often start to believe.
Have you ever changed your mind about something? What would it take for you to believe that Jesus is alive even though He died?

Become – Because everyone who believes can become someone new.
What does it mean for you personally, that you have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the dead?

Dear God, Thank you for proving that You have power over death. Help me to believe and to understand what it means for me. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

– by Dan Barber



  1. patricia konkle says, April 5, 2013 at 7:50 am

    I must say that a few years ago my husband and I heard for the first time in a sermon that we as christians had that power. When I personally started using that power in small ways in my own life it empowered me to become more bold in my spiritual journey! I saw alot of things starting to change, and I as a person have become so BOLD for Christ because of it. It is such a wonderful experience, I just cannot begin to explain.

  2. Christopher says, April 5, 2013 at 11:46 am

    vs 17 – When they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted.

    My initial response to this verse is “Are you kidding me?!?” The 11 had been shoulder to shoulder with the messiah for 3YEARS, witnessed miracle after miracle, had Jesus telling them the truth day after day; in this passage of scripture they STILL have doubt? I have felt the same way about the israelites under Moses; but I could understand their feeling of doubt because of 40 years of hardship, wandering, and discipline. But in this case, I truly am stunned that there would/could be doubters among this close knit group of friends…In discussing this with a good friend of mine, he has shared that DOUBT and FAITH are inseperable twins. It is not a sin to doubt, for doubt strenghthens faith that can be lived out only by the strength of the spirit…I am encouraged by the thought that the faith of Jesus closest friends were shaken, even after personally witnessing the events of the crucifixion and sitting in the presence of the resurrected savior. This doesn’t give me a hall pass for my doubts…but wow, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet still believe.”

  3. Dan says, April 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Patricia, thanks so much for sharing part of your personal journey…encouraging and inspiring!

  4. Dan says, April 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Great thoughts Christopher. Jesus shows so much grace where I would probably just want to shake them. A wonderful glimpse into God’s character…to know that even with our doubt, He invites to stay close to Him and experience Him.

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