Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fly Me to the Moon

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the first man to ever set foot on the lunar surface. I was not old enough to remember the event. However, my parents watched on television, along with about 500 million other people, as Neil Armstrong stepped off the lunar lander, The Eagle, to place the first human footprint on the moon.

Many who have viewed the video footage of that day’s events have been inspired, awed, excited and proud. However, there were some who were doubtful that we could actually accomplish such a feat. There were a number of skeptics who believed the whole thing was an elaborate hoax.

In fact, if you do an internet search for “moon landing”, you will find many stories about the Apollo 11 mission, but even in 2009, you will find many who wish to prove that it never happened. In fact, there are many who believe that the moon landing in July of 1969 was fabricated, in order to show superiority in the Cold War.

In 1976, the nation was celebrating 200 years of independence. I was nine years old. The American Freedom Train was traveling around the country, loaded with authentic items from our 200 years of history. It was like a rolling museum, and I remember the things I saw, like it was yesterday. I saw Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, Lincoln’s “stovepipe” hat, an original copy of the Louisiana Purchase, and many other fascinating items. I remember being in awe of the space exploration section, where I saw a replica of the moon rover “car” that the astronauts rode in on the moon, moon rocks, and other items from lunar landings. I actually saw rocks from the moon!

As far as I can tell, we sent humans to the moon and brought them back safely. We have first-hand accounts of the three men who flew there, and the two who say they actually walked on the surface. We have video footage to prove they were actually there, along with a great number of pictures. We have the actual equipment used to make the voyage, and written records of the flight. We have the testimony of all of the scientists who worked on the project, along with our government officials who were in office at the time. We have artifacts that were brought back from the moon’s surface, like the ones I saw myself, that are unlike anything we have here on earth. Why would we not believe that it happened? Some do not believe, because someone caused them to doubt it and they have chosen not to believe.

If there are those who doubt the moon landing, for whatever reasons, why are we surprised that there are those who doubt Jesus’ death and resurrection? There are many written accounts outside the Bible that attest to His life. There is written evidence of Jesus ministry while on earth. There are first-hand accounts of His death on the cross, and personal testimony of conversations and interactions after His resurrection. Many died because they would not rescind their story of His healing power and conquering of death. Yet, there are many who wish to deny that He ever existed or if He did really live on earth, that He was the Son of God.

You see, even if we had a video or photograph of Jesus coming out of the tomb, there would be many who would deny its authenticity. The fact of the matter is this; it comes down to faith. We must have faith in NASA, the government, and the testimony of the astronauts who walked on the moon, before we can believe that humans have been there. We must have faith in the Bible, the Holy Spirit living in us, and the testimony of those who saw it all, before we can believe in the salvation of our Lord Jesus.

Ask God for greater faith, so that you can honor Him through the testimony of your life.

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9 23-24 NKJV)

Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For by it our ancestors were approved. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible. (Hebrews 11:1-3 HCSB)

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