In the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, the young and inexperienced U.S. National hockey team was set to take on the highly favored Soviet Union in the semifinals of the medal round. The Soviets had won six of the previous seven gold medals, and this Olympics seemed to be no different. They were bigger, faster, stronger, and more experienced than the U.S.A. team made up of collegiate players, mainly hailing from Minnesota and Boston. Coached by Herb Brooks, they came in to the contest as enormous underdogs, and the world, maybe even the U.S. itself, did not give them much of a chance. But, against all odds, the U.S. pulled out the victory, and as the final seconds ticked off the clock, Al Michaels gave his famous line, “Do you believe in miracles, Yes!” The victory gave the nation, which was reeling from the negative effects of the Cold War, a tremendous morale boost.
I want to ask you today, do you believe in miracles? To the modern mind, the miracles found in the Bible cause some people to question whether or not the book can be trusted. Some say, “Doesn’t science disprove miracles?” I want to discuss some of these miracles and the greatest miracle of all, salvation for all mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
At the very beginning of the Bible we find the account of creation. This simple verse in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” is a giant intellectual obstacle to many people from coming to faith. Frequently on the internet I see things like, “Come on, science has disproven that completely.” But, if you look into it with an open mind, you will see that science points more clearly at God now more than ever in the history of the world.
The first miracle I want to talk about is the coming into being of the universe. For a long time, scientists held the view that the universe was eternal. Carl Sagan has said, “The cosmos are the only thing that was, is, and ever will be.” But, due to Edwin Hubble’s discovery that the universe is ever-expanding, this has rocked that theory. Because the universe is ever-expanding, that means there was a beginning to the universe when you reverse the expansion. It is a widely-held view among scientists now that the universe had a beginning, that at one point, there was nothing. The Kalam Cosmological Argument states that: 1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause. 2. The universe began to exist. 3. Therefore the universe has a cause. The Bible clearly tells us this cause, and it is that God is love, and He created the universe to show His love to His creation and to the human beings that He created. I could go on and on about the many different scientific findings that point to a Creator, such as DNA, the Cambrian Explosion, or the fine-tuning of the universe, but I will just point you to a great video on YouTube, “The Case for A Creator” by Lee Strobel. Here, former atheist turned Christian Strobel goes into vast details about the evidence for God. This video is great if you are a seeker, skeptic, or just want to know more about God’s creation.
The next two miracles I am going to talk about will be premised by the Bible verse Matthew 19:26 which says, “Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.'”
The second miracle that I want to discuss is Jesus Christ. Many people today struggle with believing that Jesus was born of a virgin. When asked about who he would most want to interview, Larry King stated, “Jesus of Nazareth, no question. I want to know if he was really born of a virgin or not. To me, that would solidify human history.” The Bible says that He was born of a virgin, that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. People scoff and say, “There is no way! We know that can’t happen.” But, having seen that God created the universe out of literally nothing, what is the bigger miracle?
There are one hundred ninety-one prophecies in the Old Testament that either directly or indirectly point to the coming of Jesus that were written as far back as five hundred years before His birth. Mathematicians have speculated and come up with the probability that one person in all of human history fulfill just eight of these prophesies. To illustrate the enormous odds against anyone fulfilling just eight of these prophesies, let’s say I take a one and a half inch by one and a half inch square and tile every square inch of land on the entire earth with these squares. Under just one of these tiles I place a gold star, and tell my brother Ryan that he can go anywhere in the earth, but he can only bend down once to pick up a tile. The same odds that Ryan would pick up the square with the gold star under it are the same odds that anyone fulfill just eight prophesies. Here’s the thing… Jesus fulfilled forty-eight of them! He clearly is the Messiah that God foretold through the ancient prophets.
Jesus came to earth, lived a sinless life, was put to death on the cross, and rose from the grave. His disciples would not have gone out and be killed proclaiming the Gospel if it had been a lie. They knew the truth, and they were willing to die to make known the salvation that is available to all through Jesus Christ. Christ died for your sins, my sins, and the sins of the entire world. Why did He do this? The simple, yet profound answer is that God, the Creator of all that is in existence, loves you, and wants you to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Because Jesus rose from the dead, if we put our faith in Him, we are justified before God, making it acceptable for us to enter into His Holy presence now and forever into eternity.
Some people ask today, “Does God still cause miracles to happen?” To that question, there is a very simple answer. Yes He does. When you receive Christ into your heart as Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in your heart, re-wiring you to be more like Jesus. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” I have experienced this in my own life. God has changed me over the past few years, and though I am still an imperfect person (which we all are), my desires have changed and God has me on a new path in life. He can meet you wherever you are, and give you immense purpose, love, peace, and joy in your life. Don’t try and clean yourself up, let Jesus change your heart now.
This is one of God’s greatest miracles, that all people have been given the free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Do you believe in miracles? I second Al Michaels’ response with a vibrant yes!