St John's Q&A

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Do you believe in the Resurrection?

The most fundamental question of Christianity is: "Did Jesus rise from the dead?" In fact, it is the THE question that separates Christians from non-Christians. Quite simply, anyone who answers 'yes' is saying that he is a Christian; anyone who says 'no' is saying that he is not. So, what does it mean to say that Jesus rose from the dead? What does it mean to believe in the Resurrection?

If I say that I believe that Jesus rose from the dead, then I believe that he has power over all things, even death. If I stop and think about what it means for a person to rise from the dead, it is mind-blowing! Jesus died a terrible and cruel death. He hung on a cross for at least three hours, and then died of suffocation. The death of Jesus of Nazareth is an indisputable, historical fact; even the most ardent atheist would admit that Jesus shed his flesh and blood on Mount Calvary.

His life had ended. "He breathed his last" (Lk 23:46). This is confirmed by all of the Gospel writers, as well as the reaction of the disciples: "(they) were mourning and in tears" (Mk 16:10). We can only imagine the tremendous sorrow and grief the disciples felt. Was Jesus not the Son of God? Not the Messiah? Was he a false prophet? Was he a liar and a blasphemer?

As they pondered these serious and somber questions for three days in their mourning, they received startling news from Mary Magdelene on the third day. "He has risen from the dead" (Mt 28:7). Those who went to see the empty tomb where Christ was buried were amazed at what they saw, and believed. He is risen!!

To believe in the Resurrection of Jesus is to believe that He is the Anointed One...He is the Christ. No one has risen from the dead before Him, and no one has done it after Him. He is the Resurrection (Jn 11:25). He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn 14:6). Everything he said is true, and he is God's only Son. He offers us his life, and all those who believe in Him and live the Gospel share in his Resurrection (life after death). Do you believe?

"If Christ has not been raised, your faith is pointless and you have not, after all, been released from your sins" (1 Cor 15:16, 17).


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