Years ago a documentary aired bringing into question the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It seems a team of researchers had uncovered a tomb outside of Jerusalem that bore the names of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. Imagine if that were today and what the headlines in news and social media might be like:

Dateline JerusalemOn the eve of the annual celebration of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the one million inhabitants of this city were shocked by the announcement that a body, identified as that of Jesus, was found in a long neglected tomb just outside the boundary of the city. Rumors had been circulating the past week of a very important discovery about to be announced. This news, however, outstrips all of our wildest guesses. The initial reaction of Christians here and around the world has been one of astonishment, bewilderment, and defensive disbelief. We will have to wait and see just what effect this discovery will have on the two thousand plus year-old religion. To the mind of this unbelieving writer, it appears Christianity will have to take its place on the same level with the other religions of the world. No longer can Christianity claim the Jesus was God in the flesh or that his death paid the sin debt for mankind and that salvation is found in him and him alone. No longer can its followers claim that, unlike other religions, the tomb of its founder is empty. Evidently a two thousand plus year old lie has come to an end.

The apostle Paul addressed pretty much the same question not many years after the death of Jesus concerning the resurrection. In his first letter to the Corinthian church he stated that if Christ has not been raised, his preaching was useless and so is believer’s faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God. If Christ has not been raised, our faith is futile and we are still under the curse of our sins. If that is the case, then we are to be pitied more than anyone else in the world.

But note that Paul used the word “IF,” which is a supposed condition and not a fact. In that same chapter of Corinthians, he declares that Christ did in fact die for our sins according to the Scriptures and that he was buried and raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. To give credence to his statement, he provided personal testimony to the validity of the Scriptures with the resurrected Jesus appearing first to his apostles, then to more than five hundred disciples at the same time, and finally to him personally. Any wonder why Paul could declare with absolute certainty and conviction to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Any wonder why the disciples were willing to die for that same certainty and conviction. Any wonder why the lives of so many have been changed down through the centuries from that certainty and conviction.

The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of Christianity. It is our hope, our confidence, and our assurance that eternal life is found in no one else. We need never fear that the body of Jesus will be found in a tomb. He is alive and well, seated at the right hand of the Father in glory and in the hearts and lives of all the faithful through the power of the Holy Spirit. This Easter, allow the assurance of the Risen Savior to bring renewed confidence in your walk of faith and lift you to new heights of joy and praise. 

To His Glory,

Pastor Bill