Billy Graham once said, “If I were an enemy of Christianity, I would aim right at the resurrection because it is the heart of Christianity.”
The British philosopher C.E.M. Joad was once asked, “If you could ask one question, and be sure of getting the right answer, what would it be?” Without a moment’s hesitation he responded, “Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead?” That indeed is the question of all questions!
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 1 Corinthians 15:3-6
Possible Explanations for the Empty Tomb
- Jesus did not die on the cross. SWOON THEORY. The theory is that Jesus regained consciousness. Of course, this theory doesn’t explain how He was unable to unwrap himself from eighty pounds of bandages soaked with spices prepared by Joseph of Arimathea or how He moved a stone weighing two tons.
- Jesus’ tomb was not empty. WRONG TOMB THEORY. These loved ones of Jesus went to the wrong tomb and kept going to the wrong tomb.
- The disciples stole the body of Jesus. CONSPIRACY THEORY. Timid, scared guys outmaneuvered Roman guards.
- The disciples were delusional when they claimed to see Jesus. THEY WERE CRAZY THEORY. So somehow, a few disciples go crazy and hundreds of others do too.
- Jesus died on the cross and actually rose from the grave. Jesus died by crucifixion. His followers believed He rose from the dead and appeared to them. The lives of Christ’s followers were radically changed.
Powerful Implications of the Risen Christ
- Jesus has authority over life and death. John 10:18, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
- Jesus has authority over sin and satan. Men die because they sin, death is the payment for sin. 1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Jesus has authority over you and me. Romans 10:9-13, because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Because He Lives,