Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?
A human being cannot rise himself from death. Jesus rose again, because He is God, the author of life.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ has been a subject of debate in non Christian circles in the past. Strong and rich Jewish leaders spent money to propagate that the disciples had stolen the body from the grave and were telling lies about the resurrection. Even in the Bible we read that a stone was rolled over the grave as the Jews doubted some fraud. The Muslims too argue against the resurrection.
If Jesus had not risen from the dead, what would happen? The Church in the world will become irrelevant. The religious societies based on chastity and poverty and the missionary works will become meaningless and cheating. If Jesus did not rise, the Gospel proclamation will be rendered meaningless. Bible and its teachings become baseless. Churches will become empty; prayers will cease to be said. The foundation of the 2000 years old Christian civilization will crash. There will be confusion and darkness everywhere. The resurrection of Jesus is the base for the world’s morality and expectations and values. The secret of Christian life is His resurrection. The response for the Cross will no more exist. It will become a piece of cheap wood.
“The World in Darkness” is a cinema. In it they show an archeologist making investigation near Calvary. He one day announced that he found a tomb where Jesus was buried and an undecomposed dead body in it. He exhibited the body covered with cloth and perfumes as a proof. The world received this shocking news. Many though with sorrow, left the faith. Priests and nuns came out in groups and left their churches and convents. In many places Bibles and Crucifixes were burnt. Heaven and hell became superstitions. The world plunged into darkness, morality and values are lost. By the time the archeologist became old and was ill in bed. He from his deathbed announced his mistake “The tomb of Jesus was empty. The exhibited body was one stolen from another tomb.”
The story clearly depicts the status or place of resurrection in the history of the world. It is not the empty tomb that is the great proof of His resurrection. After 2000 years of the event, it is not wise to show the empty tomb as a proof.
Jesus who died on the cross and was buried, appeared to those who were alive is the real proof. Not once but many times, in many places, before many. He had even appeared to Saul who was eagerly working for the destruction of the followers. Their later life revealed that their experience was neither a dream nor a vision. No one will place his life for death, if it was a woven story by them. All his disciples who preached Jesus after his death and resurrection sacrificed their lives for their teacher and their God.
James was put to death with the sword(Acts 12:2). Philip lost his life at the age of 87. He was crucified upside down, like Peter, in Hierapolis during a persecution of Domitian. Mathew was killed by the sword in A.D. 60 in Parthia. James the minor might have been killed in the persecution of Christians in the year 62. Mathias who was Judah’s replacement was, according to some traditions, stoned to death by a crowd of Jews around A.D. 51. Andrews was hung on a cross on the shores of Gulf of Patrae in Greece. Peter was crucified in Rome. Paul was beheaded in A.D. 72.
Simon and Juda Thaddeus were stoned by a crowd. Jude was killed with a spear and Simon was sown into pieces, according to legend, Thomas was stabbed in Mylapore, India. John was said to have been put in boiling oil by Emperor Domitian, but escaped unhurt.Then he was sent to Patmos island. According to a legend, John asked his disciples to dig his grave and to carry him to his grave. At the grave he wished them peace and died. Bartholomew incurred the wrath of the king and was skinned alive in A.D. 62. All these disciples stood testimony through their martyrdom as proof of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
Jesus is the only one who is alive even after death and comes into the life of the people.
Sadhu Sunder Singh said he had seen Jesus in a vision and it changed him. He went about preaching Jesus.When we believe in Jesus, when we believe that Jesus is real and the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, when we believe that Jesus is with us, why fear a storyteller or any strong trend of hatred towards Christianity that is unleashed by the power of darkness?
Does anyone really think that all those martyrs who knew Jesus, who witnessed everything concerning him, went to their deaths without knowing the truth and having real faith in him. He told us, “And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Let us therefore rejoice and continue our journey.
– – – written by K. C. Thomas