“If Christ has not been raised,” the apostle Paul taught his converts, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” . The resurrection of Jesus Christ is of momentous importance for every Christian, indeed for everyone on this planet. Because Jesus Christ conquered death, we, too, have a chance to live again — and so do our friends and relatives who have already succumbed to the most certain thing in every life — death. That is why the most exhilarating message human ears have yet heard was the one announced to some devoted but astonished women outside a rock tomb in first-century Jerusalem: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”
The resurrection of Christ has always been seen as the central teaching of Christianity. If the resurrection is not historic fact, then the power of death remains unbroken, and with it the effect of sin. Without faith in the resurrection there would be no Christianity at all. The empty tomb of Christ has been the cradle of the church. To mention Jesus Christ and his life, death and resurrection is to get to the root of the Christian faith, for Christianity claims a basis in historical fact. “There are ancient myths in pagan literature about dying gods who attained some form of resurrection,” writes Philip Rosenbaum, “but no other sacred writing intersects human history the way the Bible does. For it is the historical fact of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection that separate God’s Word from all others”
Detractors sometimes say that Jesus never died. Consider this: Would Christ’s implacable foes — opponents eager to crush out the infant Christian movement have allowed Christ, once in their clutches, to fake a death? This hardly seems logical or consistent with their motives and with the biblical narrative. Could any intelligent person really believe that after the rigors and pains of trial, mockery, flogging and crucifixion Jesus could survive…in a stone epulcher with neither warmth nor food nor medical care? That he could then rally sufficiently to perform the superhuman feat of shifting the boulder which secured the mouth of the tomb…without disturbing the Roman guard? That he could appear to the disciples in such a way as to give them the impression that he had vanquished death? … Such credulity is more incredible than Thomas’ unbelief.
The oldest argument advanced against Christ’s resurrection is the intriguing theory that Christ’s body was stolen. This is a significant claim. The one crowning blow to disprove Christ’s resurrection would have been a public display of his body. A display of the corpse would quickly end any “myth” that was allegedly developing about the resurrection of Jesus. Public exhumings have happened more than once in history; why didn’t the rulers of first-century Judea do that? There was a good reason: Christ had been bodily resurrected. The body was gone. The Gospel account makes the most sense. Don’t forget that the rulers of Jerusalem “gave the soldiers a large sum of money” to circulate the story that Jesus’ disciples stole his body (Matthew 28:11-15). Yet the Theft Theory, too, is indefensible, no matter who some think the robbers were. In the first place, if the guards were sleeping, how did they know who had stolen the body? Second, the Jerusalem hierarchy had outsmarted themselves — they had posted a guard to prevent this very sort of thing from happening. What judge in a court room would listen to you if you said that while you were asleep, your neighbor came into your house and stole your television set? Who knows what goes on while he’s asleep? Testimony like this would be laughed out of any court.
Christianity is more than a series of clever arguments. It is more than a list of intellectual debating points that can be argued back and forth. This is why the validity of the Gospel testimony does not remain at the mercy of the latest “debunking” best-seller or archaeological find in the Middle East. In the end, Christianity rests on faith, faith based on a living and ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ, a living Savior! Thomas wanted the strongest form of proof: “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were…I will not believe it” (John 20:25). Thomas saw, he tested, and then he believed (verses 26-28). Yet Jesus Christ followed this dramatic encounter with the words: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (verse 29).
The historical Jesus Christ was an amazing power in the lives of men years after his death. It is not so much the fact that a miracle happened, the chief reason that the disciples spoke so often about it was that Jesus was alive and with them again. This is why the disciples came storming out of Jerusalem and so influenced the world with their message. (Acts 17:6). The living Christ had changed their lives. He can do the same for you. Join the 19 Lions mission to share the gospel to the world. We are just a group of musicians playing original Christian rock music in an effort to inspire people and lead them to the cross. All we want is one more soul, over and over again until His return. Happy Easter. He is Risen.