“The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.” Luke 24v5-7
The first Easter Sunday, and a situation that had been total despair and disaster for the first disciples, with their Master dead, and their loyalty wavering suddenly gets turned completely on its head. Sorrow turns to joy as the disciples realize that the story doesn’t end with Jesus’ death on the Cross. The resurrection changes everything. Without it Jesus would have been a great teacher martyred for his cause. But with the resurrection comes victory. Victory over sin. Victory over the schemes of sinful men. But most importantly, victory over death itself. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” Hosea 13v14(Greek version). The resurrection gives us hope for the future. It gives us reassurance that one day we too will be resurrected should we die before Jesus returns. It gives us reassurance that Jesus had the authority to promise eternal life to those who follow Him. And it gives us reassurance that He is alive today and will hear us when we cry out to Him.
But maybe the resurrection didn’t happen. What hope is there for us then? “And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.”1st Corinthians 15v17. Well, maybe we should consider the alternatives to the resurrection and see if any of them hold any water.
Perhaps the disciples stole the body. But don’t forget, the body was in a tomb that was guarded by Roman soldiers, who were elite hardcore soldiers, who would have faced death had they failed in their duty. And then there is the huge stone sealing the tomb. Plus, all the disciples apart from John died for their faith – would they really have been willing to die for a lie?
Or perhaps it was all just a myth started by the disciples. But in that case the Jewish authorities could easily have gone to the tomb and produced the body, totally squashing the disciple’s story.
And then there is the fact that Jesus appeared to hundreds of people after his resurrection – it is totally improbable that all these people happened to have the same hallucination, at the same time.
Which leaves one option – He rose!
“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”( 1st Corinthians 15v17) Jesus’ resurrection gives us victory over the sin in our life. It sets us free from the slavery of sin that leads to death. Death, where is your sting? Because of the resurrection, if you have put your faith in Jesus you have nothing to fear from death, for he has proven He is victorious. Surely that was the greatest day in history, when Jesus proved He was triumphant over death.