Having seen Jesus crucified, weeping women and mournful men came to the tomb in which His lifeless body had been placed. They were there to say farewell to their dream, embalm the past and to weep and mourn.
Then God the Father said, “Surprise!”
Yes, Jesus died. The reputation of the experienced Roman execution squad rested on their success, and they attested to His death.
There was general agreement soon thereafter the tomb was empty.
Friends could not have stolen the body. Had they, to avoid the ensuing persecution they would have produced his lifeless body.
Enemies could not have stolen it. Had they, to make a mockery of the claim they would have delayed a bit and presented His lifeless body and made a mockery of the claim.
That means it wasn’t stolen.
Those who claim He only swooned and revived in the cool tomb to walk out know nothing about the extent of what crucifixion involved.
Skeptics scoffing at the account attempt to discredit it by criticizing the reports as unreliable. Yet, critics accept as creditable much more unreliable records of other events as historical. What is known as Hannibal crossing the Alps was written 250 years after the alleged event. There are over 1,200 ancient New Testament documents written within a lifetime of the Resurrection. Historians accept the history written by Thucydides (460 B.C.) and Herodotus (488 B.C.), which were translated from eight manuscripts written 1,300 years later.
Greek scholar, Bishop Westcott said, “Taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no single historical event better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ.”
Writing at the time medical doctor Luke proclaimed “there are many infallible proofs” of the resurrection. The descriptive word he used was tekmerion, meaning “demonstrable proofs,” that is, “much empirical evidence.”
There must have been because within days of the resurrection, over 3,000 people who were in Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion and resurrection professed their belief.
James, the sibling of Jesus, who was skeptical of Jesus all their lives, became a believer in that he was in the upper room with the apostles on the evening of the resurrection. He eventually became head of the church in Jerusalem.
What does the fact He arose mean?
It means when the world says “no” you can’t live an abundant meaningful life, the resurrection says “yes” you can.
It means when the world says “no,” you can’t optimistically and victoriously live with hope, the Resurrection says “yes,” you can.
It means when the world says “no,” you can’t live forever, the Resurrection says “yes,” you can.
Near Colorado Springs, Colo., there is a road that winds through William’s Canyon to the Cave of the Winds. The pass through which it goes seems to get more and more narrow as your travel it.
One passage is known as “The Narrows.” Drawing near it, every indication is you can’t make it through. Just before you reach it, there is a sign stating: “Yes you can — a million others have.”
Just when life gave every indication of having only a hopeless end, Christ arose — revealing it has an endless hope. You can make it because ONE has. Because HE lives, we can live also.
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.