Of all the scandals in history, none has been more investigated than the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Most people know the story: Jesus was a Man. Born in a mangy stable, He walked with us for about thirty-three years before His enemies seized, tortured, and killed Him. With the exception of a few, His followers scattered.
His dead body was placed in a borrowed grave and sealed. He laid there for three days until that glorious morning – Resurrection Sunday – when His new, fresh, strong body emerged from the depths. He scared everyone He saw (not intentionally. But I bet it was an awesome site.) They couldn’t believe it.
Jesus had come back to life. Just like He said He would.
He hung out with His people for forty days. At one point, over five-hundred people saw Him – all at the same time. (Some people attribute the sitings of Jesus to a hallucination. Tell me – when was the last time you heard of five hundred people having the same hallucination at the same time?)
At the end of His forty days, He stood at the top of Mount Olives, said goodbye, and was carried into Heaven. His followers must have felt like orphans.
That day marked the beginning of an initiative incomparable to any in history: to find Jesus – dead or alive.
The people most threatened by Jesus– the ruling religious leadership of the day – couldn’t find Him. They had utmost motivation to find His body. After all, a growing group of His followers was a true threat to their position.
The people in charge of Jesus’ execution – the ruling government of the day – couldn’t find Him. They, too, had utmost motivation to find His body. The last thing they needed was to be undermined and outsmarted by what was at that point still a small sect of Jesus’ followers. They needed authority. Jesus’ resurrection would demolish that.
And the followers of Christ – well, they suffered the most for His resurrection. Every single one of Jesus’ twelve disciples – with the exception of one (John, who was kept alive to write the Book of Revelation in his aged years. They tried to kill him, but couldn’t. That would be another story for another day.) – was killed for their allegiance to Him. Their executions weren’t humane, either.
Tell me – if you knew something was false – would you die for it?
The bottom line is, Christ lived. He was killed. He was buried. He was as dead as one can be.
But He came back to life.
If Christ really did come back to life, that means everything He said was true. Everything: the parts about the end of time, about how we should live, about how Israel is God’s chosen nation, about how He will reign in the Millennial Kingdom and for all of eternity – all of it is true.
Even the part about how you can get to Heaven only through Him.
I once read the story about Lee Strobel, the author of The Case for Christ. A lawyer by trade, he was naturally skeptical about everything, including Jesus. You know the type: only the facts, ma’am. Seeing is believing.
When his wife converted to Christianity, he checked it out for himself. Time and time again, he simply couldn’t believe a person came to earth, claimed to be God, and actually was.
He reached a crisis point, however. A crossroads, a moment of truth. Was Jesus really who He said He was?
On a yellow legal pad, he began to make two lists – one supporting the idea Jesus was God, and the other disproving it. He began to write reasons in each list.
However, the supporting list kept growing. Fact after fact was added to the list, while the other dwindled. He flipped the page and began writing on the back. More facts to support the preposition that Jesus was, indeed, Lord.
Finally, he stopped writing. He tore off the sheet. It was obvious.
Jesus was really God.
Lee put his faith and trust in Jesus right there, and he hasn’t stopped serving Him since.
My friend, let me ask you, are you like Lee – a questioning, skeptical lawyer in life? Do you, also, need the facts?
My dearest Friend, if you are, then check them out. I promise you, Jesus isn’t threatened by your questions.
In fact, I believe He holds a dear place for those who question Him, who want to be rock solid in their belief before they make the decision to follow Him. He has reserved a place in His heart full of patience and love for those who desire to make the right decision.
However, you must come with an open mind and a heart ready to follow where the facts lead you. Because when you follow them, they will most assuredly lead you to one place:
The empty tomb of Jesus.
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