Seth Udinski, FISM News
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” -Luke 24:5-6
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is, without argument and without question, the single most important event in world history. This event has baffled historians for centuries – how this Man who died a horrific death and remained dead for three days could then walk out of the grave on the third day.
But friends, the beauty of the resurrection account is that this really happened. For 2000 years, even the most skeptical historians have not been able to provide a legitimate alternative explanation for the empty tomb, which history affirms was truly empty.
Some claim it was empty because the disciples stole the body, a virtual impossibility since the tomb was guarded night and day by a strong regiment of Roman soldiers and sealed with a giant stone. Others argue the “hallucination theory,” that the disciples, the 500 witnesses of the resurrection, and the Apostle Paul all hallucinated and imagined that they saw the risen Lord Jesus. This is also simply not feasible, that more than 500 unique and unrelated people would hallucinate in the exact same way.
And still others will argue, foolishly, that Jesus did not truly die on the cross but survived the crucifixion and was instead unconscious for three days and then “woke up” on the third day. This is simply preposterous, considering the Romans were experts at crucifixion. Jesus would not have survived the loss of blood, the scourging, the beating He endured, and the burial covering of pounds of heavy burial cloth for several days in a sealed tomb. Crucifixion victims, like modern victims of the lethal injection or firing squad, simply did not survive their death sentence.
Therefore, the only reasonable explanation for the empty tomb, when examining all possibilities, is that a divine miracle happened and Jesus truly, physically, rose from the dead.
Since Jesus truly rose from the dead, this gives eternal comfort to those who trust in Him. As you remember the miraculous resurrection of the Lord Jesus today, consider these few promises that apply to you if you trust in this wonderful, merciful Savior:
First, because of the resurrection, Jesus’ life and death was vindicated. Jesus perfectly fulfilled the will of His Father, both in His sinless life and vicarious substitutionary death. On the cross, Jesus was an innocent substitute, and His resurrection proves not only His innocence on the cross, but the truth of His final words – “It is accomplished.”
Second, because of the resurrection, Jesus’ claim to be God is completely verified. Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity who had coexisted with the Father and the Spirit for all eternity, stepped into His creation and became man. Truly man and truly God, he proved His deity time and time again by healing the sick, controlling the weather, raising the dead, and driving away spiritual forces of evil. But His greatest miracle was getting up and walking out of the tomb after He had been truly dead for three days. Only God could do this.
Third, because of the resurrection, you and I have hope for eternal life after death. The most sinister and horrific consequence of the fall is death. Physical death awaits us all, and spiritual death, eternity in conscious suffering in the lake of fire, awaits all who will not repent of their sin and submit to Christ. Death is a brutal enemy.
But when Christ rose from the dead, He gave all who believe in Him victory over death. When we meet our time’s end in this life, we will immediately be in the presence of Christ in paradise (Luke 23:43). And at the final resurrection of the dead, we will, as Christ was on that first Easter Sunday, be resurrected in a perfected body in the new heavens and the new earth, where God will dwell with man for eternity.
Because of the resurrection, death becomes the gateway to eternal life for all who trust in Christ.
And if you do not trust in Jesus Christ, understand that you are sinner who deserves wrath. You have offended the holy God of the universe, and your only hope to be spared from the punishment you deserve is to trust in the perfect life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Heed the words of this beautiful promise from Romans 10:9 – “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Take heart, dear friends. Death has died, and Jesus Christ, who also died, is alive. And we are promised in the Word of God that this risen Lord Jesus will never stop loving His people for whom He died and rose again:
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39