Are you preparing to celebrate the empty tomb on Resurrection Sunday? As Christians, all of our hope is vested in the good news that we serve a risen Savior.
Have you ever thought how depressing it would be to worship a savior who was dead? Death is the enemy! Death is the reason we need a savior—to make sure that we’re ready to die. But how can I be ready to die if the one I worship is dead? What can a dead savior do for me?
The Apostle Paul reminds us, in his letter to the Corinthians, that “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (I Corinthians 15:19) He’s saying that if Jesus were just a good man who lived for 33 years and then died, why would we put our hopes in him? Why would we trust him to bring us to eternal life? The Apostle continues, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (I Corinthians 15:20)
How do we know that Christ is risen from the dead? First, because the Bible makes it abundantly clear that he rose bodily, and he now lives in his resurrection body at the right hand of the Father in heaven. However, beyond that, there is much evidence for the resurrection.
For example, a scholar of Classics from Auckland University, E. M. Blailock, says, “I claim to be an historian. My approach to Classics is historical. And I tell you that the evidence for the life, the death, and the resurrection of Christ is better authenticated than most of the facts of ancient history.”
Obviously all of ancient history that we know and believe is based on eyewitnesses from the time who wrote about it. All four Gospel writers have given us eyewitness accounts that are totally compatible and indisputable.
Another evidence is that the disciples, those who saw the risen Christ, were willing to give their lives for him, and they did. They were depressed and defeated when Jesus was crucified; they thought it was over; they were frightened of the leaders. Only a risen Christ, whom they saw and to whom they talked, could invoke such devotion and commitment from them. They knew he was risen!
Personally, we who have been born from above know he is risen because he has brought new life to us and only a risen Savior could do that!
Celebrate the empty tomb! Invite people to go to church with you. Make more of this celebration than any other because it is the most important fact of history: Jesus Christ is risen from the tomb!