HE IS RISEN – Meditation On The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ
If Jesus remained buried in His tomb, Christianity would simply be talk about a “dead Jesus.” If this was the truth, all Christianity could do is admire Jesus for the type of selfless life He lived. Christianity would be touched by all the sufferings Jesus supposedly endured for the sins of the world and the wonderful things Jesus taught. However, Christianity would still have a “dead Jesus.”
With a “dead Jesus,” how could anyone have a relationship with God? How can one be assured that her sins are forgiven? With a “dead Jesus,” Christianity is nothing more than an ordinary world religion. Sins would not be forgiven and a personal relationship with God would be impossible. Jesus would be on the same level as Abraham, Mohammed, Buddha, and Confucius. Not very attractive would Christianity be against other belief systems.
However, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the core, central belief that makes Christianity what it is. Jesus Christ resurrected is what makes Christianity stand high above any other world religion. Jesus, our great God, has risen. Jesus has forgiven all our sins and raises us from death to life. No other religion can claim that its founder is God and that He rose from the dead. Jesus alive is what makes Christianity appealing. Jesus Christ is Christianity – a personal, vibrant relationship with the living God.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the core, central belief
that makes Christianity what it is.
Jesus Christ resurrected is what makes
Christianity stand high above any other world religion.
Think about this: Whether you are a Christian or a non-Christian, if Jesus did not rise from the dead, what would occur to the sin issue separating mankind from God? Would all sins be forgiven? The answer is “No.” Without the resurrection, Jesus could not be God. If Jesus was not God, He could not die for the sins of the world. He would simply be a dead man buried in a tomb. Because mankind possesses an indwelling sin nature, no man (except he be God) could take away sin through death. Such was Jesus successful. He is the God-man in the flesh.
There are many skeptics, who even today, doubt that Jesus rose from the dead. Their arguments may seem valid on the surface, but an examination of the resurrection details shows convincing evidence that Jesus did rise from the dead.
There is sufficient archaeological evidence to validate the resurrection of Jesus. Even the most skeptical of theologians cannot deny the fact of archaeological evidence dating as far back as the second century AD. (An excellent reference source is The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel.)
The skeptics do admit the reality of a man named Jesus who lived, was crucified on a Roman cross, buried in a Pharisee’s tomb, and whose tomb was now empty. The historicity of these events are accurately documented and supported over 2000 years of study and research. Two non-Christian historians (Tacitus the Roman and Josephus the Jew) acknowledge the person of Jesus in their writings 2000 years ago. Since the Romans were pagan and the Jews rejected Jesus, there certainly was no favoritism coming from these groups that allied them to Jesus. For any skeptic denying this or saying there was a conspiracy, there is little basis to support this claim.
So the genuine question for today is, “What is YOUR belief of the evidence that Jesus Christ rose from the dead?”
What is your belief of the evidence that
Jesus Christ rose from the dead?
Another convincing support of the resurrection of Jesus is the abundance of eyewitnesses Jesus appeared to. The apostle Paul says Jesus appeared to more than 500 people, whom most were still alive. Paul is saying, “If you want proof of the resurrection, talk to those living eyewitnesses whom Jesus appeared to.” Eyewitness proof is very convincing evidence, especially when there are many eyewitnesses. It is not simply a few witnesses; it is more than 500. That certainly is no conspiracy. Throughout the Acts Of The Apostles, Luke emphasizes that the apostles and disciples consistently preached the “resurrected” Jesus.
Another support of the resurrection is the radical change of life the new Christians underwent. They gave up their possessions to help those in need. In the first few centuries AD, multitudes of Christians were persecuted, tortured, and martyred because they would not renounce their faith in a resurrected Jesus. The easy way out was to renounce Jesus and your life would be spared. (Though some obviously did, they were in the minority.) Far more died for their belief in a resurrected Jesus. They believed a life with Jesus Christ in the next world was worth dying for. They would never renounce their belief in the resurrected Jesus. The fact that a simple group of Christians nonviolently turned the first century world upside down is proof enough of the resurrection.
The fact that a simple group of Christians nonviolently turned the first century world
upside down is proof enough of the resurrection.
If the resurrection is a lie, it makes no sense that countless multitudes would give up their lives. They VOLUNTARILY gave up their lives to die for Jesus. If Jesus never rose from the dead, then Christianity is the most successful hoax ever pulled off. Not only had they offered their life in death, but they died rejoicing.
Visualize how the actual resurrection of Jesus occurred. We have details from the four gospels, but it is important we visually place ourselves there 2000 years ago. We need to experience the Resurrection’s personal impact in our lives.
Inside the tomb, the illumination of the glory of God shone throughout the dark tomb. The soul and spirit of Jesus enter His lifeless body. Jesus sits up, rolls up the linen covering His head, and passes right through the other linens. This may seem magical, but let us remember two things:
Jesus is God and can do anything He chooses. Notice His human side, however, by rolling up the linen covering His head.More importantly, understand the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We must never lose focus of this. Let this impact penetrate your heart.
The glorious body of our Lord Jesus Christ has risen. His nail-scarred hands are clearly visible. He is risen. We no longer need to seek the living among the dead.
I Corinthians 15 is a lengthy chapter that the apostle Paul writes to confirm the validity and significance of the Resurrection of Jesus. I recommend that you read this chapter often. If you have any doubts of the validity of Jesus’ Resurrection, this chapter is a must to read.
Look at some of Paul’s convincing facts of the Resurrection.
I Corinthians 15:14-17 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, Whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.I Corinthians 15:20-22 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man (Adam) came death, by a man (Jesus) also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.I Corinthians 15:50-55 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in the moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must put on the imperishable, and the mortal will have put on immortality. But when the perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?
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