Monday, August 25, 2014

Did Jesus Really Rise from the Grave? by Martin Wiles

Series: Hey God…I Have a Question

I’ve walked by the caskets of more dead family members than I care to recall. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and a father. As I strolled by each coffer, I longed for their eyes to open and their voices to speak. In some cases, unfinished business lingered. I needed to speak to them. I longed to hear some of the old stories again. And this time I would pen them down somewhere. No matter how sincere my longing, none revived. 

With Jesus, it was different…or so people claim. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. (Matthew 28:6 NLT) On that first Easter morning, nothing was inside the tomb where Jesus was laid three days earlier except the clothes he wore. 

Various reasons have been suggested to explain the empty tomb. Some say Jesus merely fainted on the cross and was later revived by the tomb’s coolness. Yet the guards failed to break his legs while he hung on the cross because they knew he was already dead. Others propose his disciples stole his body for fear of being embarrassed because he didn’t do what he promised: rise from the dead. Still others say the guards confiscated his body. But why didn’t they produce it and thereby prove him a delusional, lying lunatic? 

Mary Magdalene was the first to see the resurrected Christ just outside the vacated grave. According to Paul, she wasn’t the only one. He appeared to Peter, James, the twelve apostles, and to more than 500 people—most of whom were still alive when Paul wrote (I Corinthians 15:6). Luke says these appearances occurred over a period of 40 days before Jesus’ ascension back into heaven (Acts 1:3).

My money’s on Jesus. The evidence seems conclusive that he did what he purported he would. More importantly, his resurrection was God’s validation that my sins were paid for. He became my substitute. By faith, I appropriate his death and resurrection’s benefits: forgiveness and eternal life. Does the risen Jesus live in your heart?

Prayer: God and Father, thank You for the death and resurrection of Your Son for the forgiveness of our sins. 

Do you have a question for God you'd like to share with us? 

Martin N Michelle
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