Thursday, July 06, 2017

Risen Without A Doubt

The unexpected happened and there is plenty of evidence to prove it.

John 20:1-9 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, "They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put Him!"

3 Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. 4 They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn't go in.

6 Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, 7 while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings.

8 Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed-- 9 for until then they still hadn't understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.

Most authors end a biography pretty soon after the death of the person that is being written about. There usually isn't much to say about a person after they are dead, they quit doing things and saying things for anybody to write about, but that is not so with Jesus.

Jesus story starts to get really interesting after his death. The favorite part of the Bible for a lot of people is probably the New Testament from Acts through Revelation. The story of Jesus is really exciting as you about the amazing changes that happened in our relationship with God as a result of the fact that Jesus came out of the tomb.

None of the stuff that Jesus told us about heaven matters if he didn't rise from the dead, we would be foolish to put all of our hope in a dead man, if he didn't leave his grave then we have no hope of leaving ours. Thankfully the evidence that Jesus did rise from his grave is huge and it gives us plenty of reason to expect that we will experience his resurrection power in our lives as well. (John 6:37-40, 1 Corinthians 15:14-19)

Consider the evidence:

  • The open tomb

A sealed tomb with Roman soldiers that "slept" through the noise of the large boulder being moved and now it is wide open for us to see that it is empty. Jesus proved when he came into a room without opening a door that the stone was moved for our benefit, it wasn't moved to let him out, it was moved to let us in. (John 20:19, 26; Luke 24:15, 31)

  • The scared disciples

These guys were too afraid to make a plan to pretend that the resurrection had happened. They didn't even comprehend that Jesus was coming back in three days. Why would they go through so much work and expense to give Jesus a proper burial if they believed that he was coming back so soon?

  • The religious leaders

If these guys had any information about the location of Jesus body they would certainly have been quick to let everybody know, they would have done whatever they could to stop the resurrection stories. Their story about the guards at the tomb taking a nap and missing the thief is rather lame.

  • The empty grave clothes

What grave robber would leave behind the clothing that was on Jesus and carry his bloody body away to a new location. His body was a mess that nobody would have wanted to see or touch.

  • The crowd of witnesses

Post-resurrection appearances of Jesus include the first to Mary Magdalene, then to the disciples on several occasions and to a crowd of over 500 people at once. The varied circumstances of the appearances and the different people that were involved help to validate the truth.

  • The disciples preaching

The powerful preaching of the disciples would have been easy to stop if somebody came forward with a dead Jesus. The disciples accused the Jews of crucifying the Son of God, wouldn't they stop at nothing to find Jesus body in order to stop such serious allegations?

  • The unexpected happened

It is amazing that nobody expected Jesus to be back in their midst after three days. God's word and the prophets had said that it would happen, just days before he was crucified Jesus said he would be crucified but he would be right back, yet nobody expected it would happen. (Luke 24:25-26)

From tears to joy, from fear to courage and from doubt to belief, they were all convinced. Even the Apostle Paul went from being a zealot to protect the traditions of Judaism to embracing the life and teaching of Jesus. 
The Apostle Paul saw Jesus and was convinced:
Romans 1:4 and He was shown to be the Son of God when He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 4:24-25 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in Him, the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and He was raised to life to make us right with God.

Romans 5:11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Romans 6:10 When He died, He died once to break the power of sin. But now that He lives, He lives for the glory of God.

Romans 8:34 Who then will condemn us? No one--for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, pleading for us.
Everyone that experienced the risen Savior was never the same and that is still true today. My relationship with Jesus is so awesome because it is the reason that I can have a peaceful, loving and friendly relationship with God while I am here on earth and there is no fear of meeting him when this life is over.

Thank you God that you revealed your plan to raise your Son Jesus from the dead and then you followed through and kept your promise.