This message is for all those using Abraham Lincoln’s famous words: “with malice toward none and charity toward all.”
What you are about to read is concerning the greatest event in human history. The writers of the four Gospels all agree and declare that Christ arose. One translation sums it up powerfully: “it is true, the Lord has risen” (Luke 24:34). Throughout the Christian world for more than 2,000 years, Easter Sunday has been linked to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet, repeatedly throughout history, many have alleged this event never happened. However, no one has been able to conclusively refute it.
Since the resurrection of Christ in A.D 33 (37), Christianity has spread across the globe. The very fact that history records that Jesus Christ died on a cross and was buried in a specific sepulcher for three days, can only be explained by the resurrection. His was an empty tomb, an event that could not be forgotten. Every other proffered theory has failed miserably. What other religion can declare the death, burial and resurrection of their leader? None.
It is amazing that all who seek to deny the resurrection of Jesus recorded in the Bible, cannot deny the Biblical fact that all must die. But in contrast to all, there was one unique person, the Son of God set forth in Hebrews chapter 9. The writer reveals in clearest language appearing three times of Christ. He appeared to put away sin; he appears in the presence of God for the believer; and he will yet appear the second time for those who have trusted in the value of Christ’s sacrifice.
There are many myths surrounding the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus remained in the Tomb. Holy Scripture clearly records the message from the angel to the women who came early in the morning to the sepulcher. Mark 16:6 “He is not here. He is risen.” The women were amazed that the stone, which weighed about 3,000 to 4,000 pounds, had been rolled away. These women were eyewitnesses to an empty and open tomb.
Another myth is the woman went to the wrong tomb. In Mark 16:6 the angel tells the women to observe where Jesus had been laid; they knew the right tomb.
Jesus never died is also a myth. This argument is sometimes called the “swoon theory.” There was once a bewildered lady who enquired further, after having listened to a sermon where the preacher said that ‘Jesus swooned.’ The reply was as follows: Dear bewildered, beat the preacher with a cat-of-nine tails with 39 heavy strokes, nail him to a cross, hang him in the sun for six hours, run a spear through his side, put him in an airless tomb, and see what happens. Also, according to Roman history if a soldier took a living person off a cross, and that person survived, the soldier would be executed.
Yet another myth, the enemies of Jesus stole His body. Why did the Romans ask for a guard? If the disciples had stolen the body, Christianity could have been stopped, simply by the accusers producing the stolen corpse.
A fifth myth is the disciples of Jesus stole His body. How could they have done so? Roman soldiers were guarding the tomb. Why would they steal the body and then insist Jesus rose from the dead, considering the consequences they would face?
The greatest evidence of the resurrection is the fact that Jesus appeared at least 10 times to His disciples, and on one occasion to about 500 people at once. When a well-known atheistic theologian was given the task of proving that the resurrection was a myth, his quest resulted in him becoming a genuine believer in the risen Christ. The evidence was so overwhelming that Jesus Christ had indeed arose from the dead, that he trusted in Him personally.
Is it not strange that for many centuries, intellectuals in our world have sought to deny the resurrection? They use empty rhetoric yet the Son of God, the greatest person in the universe, declared in John 2:19: “Destroy this temple (body) and in three days I will raise it up.”
Surely we can trust the testimonies of the 12 apostles; 11died martyr’s deaths on the basis of two things: The resurrection of Christ and the belief that He was the Son of God.
Albert Hull is a Gospel evangelist. He lives in Bible Hill.