Matthew 28:1-8 – “Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.” NKJV
If Jesus did not rise from the dead then our Hope is vain and our faith based on a corpse and is a fraud. The Pharisees attempted to spin the spin that the disciples had stolen His body to perpetuate what they deemed a myth. They were blind leaders of the blind and could not see the signs, truths, or hear the Messianic Message that Jesus brought to them. Throughout the centuries since that event early in the 1st century the atheist, agnostics, skeptics, doubters, and revilers have sought to perpetuate the lie of the Sanhedrin that Jesus did not rise from the dead and that the resurrection is a fabrication. If they are right, then our Hope is destroyed and there is no eternal future for us and death is final making this life all that matters. That is a recipe for the vilest exhibitions of lasciviousness and corruption one could imagine. That would cast off all restraint and everyone would truly be a law unto themselves making society truly the survival of the fittest or most devious.
BUT, Jesus did Rise from the Dead and is now ascended to the Right Hand of the Throne of God making intercession for us as the Scripture has declared. He has gone to prepare a place for us and coming back for us so that where He is we can be also FOREVER. Why am I confident that HE IS RISEN? I did not seem Him rise from the dead, for that was two-thousand years ago. Some argue that the disciples who saw Him were they so filled with delusion they hallucinated and dreamed what they hoped was a reality? How about the 500 who saw Him before His ascension, was that MASS HALLUCINATION? How about the numerous others who saw Him, talked to Him, witnessed Him being alive, was that strong delusion and mind-control by His followers? Believing the scenario or hypothesis of mass hallucination would take an incredible amount of faith in coincidence and the power of suggestion on such a mass scale. It would be akin to believing that books like “Pilgrim’s Progress” was the result of a person standing in a railroad car full of printer’s type with a shovel and hurling shovel after shovel full of type over the side and each letter aligning itself into that manuscript.
I believe in the Resurrection of Jesus because of the biblical report and other historic writings and evidence that came out of that and subsequent eras. BUT, an even larger reason that I BELIEVE is that I have RECEIVED. I shall never forget that faithful night in my sister’s home in Palestine, Texas on a Saturday night after midnight. I had been fishing and it is amazing that I was sober for my normal pattern would have been to become inebriated. God chose that moment in time when I was completely sober to deal with my condition. There were some people from Westside Assembly of God where Henry Vincent was the pastor who had been witnessing to me. They prayed for me and loved me in spite of my rudeness and meanness. When I came in that night, there was a note from my sister for me to read Proverbs 3:5-6. One of the families had sent that message to me. I cannot explain why I even bothered, for that was not the norm for me, at that time. I had no Bible so I searched for a Bible in my sister’s house and found one. I took it to the kitchen table and opened the Bible searching for Proverbs. It was as I read the words of that passage that I realized I had been trusting myself and my understanding. I had become convinced that I was a sinner and going to hell and nothing could be done about it. BUT, as I read those words a light came on inside my heart and head and I asked God to forgive me AND HE DID! I was CHANGED and even without telling others what had happened people knew there was a change. I was BORN-AGAIN! So, do I believe in the RESURRECTION? My Transformation allows me to declare emphatically YES, I BELIEVE!
HE IS RISEN! Today we celebrate His Life and from the Cross, we realize that we too, can enter into His Life. He paid the debt we could never pay and His Resurrection signifies the deal is sealed. IT IS FINISHED! Nothing we can do will transform us but what He has done does. It is not by works but by Grace that we are Saved. He now calls, “Come unto Me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” He calls, “Come unto me and I will in no way cast you out or refuse you.” He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Door to Salvation and HE IS ALIVE!
God, bless you as you celebrate HIS LIFE and the LIFE He has brought to each of us! HAPPY CELEBRATION OF HIS RESURRECTION!