Tuesday, May 29, 2012

No Body by Martin Wiles

Situated in Red Square in the center of Moscow since shortly after his death in 1924, Vladimir Lenin’s corpse requires daily moisturizing and injection of preservatives under his clothes to safeguard its appearance. His sarcophagus is kept at 61 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity between 80 and 90 percent. The corpse is removed every eighteen months for a chemical bath.

Honoring those who serve faithfully is admirable, but viewing a lifeless body only reminds us a person is just that-lifeless. Had someone produced and preserved Jesus’ body, Christianity would have no message and doubtlessly not survived.

Many balk at the notion of Jesus returning to life, but while Jesus’ earthly ministry changed countless lives and his death portrayed unconditional love, only the resurrection validates his death’s purpose and provides Christianity’s central message.

But are there proofs of Jesus’ resurrection? A carefully guarded tomb is one. Jewish authorities didn’t question Jesus’ death but took precautions to keep his followers from stealing the body and concocting a story about his rumored return to life.

Then there’s the empty tomb. Some propose Jesus only swooned on the cross and was revived by the cool tomb, but even the soldiers sent to hasten his death by breaking his legs didn’t because he was already dead. 

The women coming to the tomb early Sunday morning to anoint Jesus’ body were greeted by an angel who confirmed Jesus’ resurrection: Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said (Matthew 28:5-6). Though afraid, they left with immense joy to share the news with others.

Eyewitness accounts also prove the resurrection. Two believers on their way to Emmaus encounter the resurrected Jesus. After realizing who he is, they too pass along news of their encounter to others. A carefully guarded tomb could not hold a resurrected Lord. As early believers spread the wonderful news to others we should too. There is no body.

Prayer: Lord, may the joy of Your resurrection give us reason to share the good news.
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