Lord God, I thank You for this day of days. Promises kept, dreams realized, death gives way to life. Christ is risen!
Read LUKE 24:1-8
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?” (Hosea 13:14).
Today, believers around the world celebrate the most important truth of the Christian faith: Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Luke records the facts. The stone was rolled away (2), the body was gone (3), and two angels appeared and explained what had happened (4-7). It’s a familiar story, even for occasional churchgoers, but make no mistake: it’s the lynchpin of the Christian faith; remove it, and everything else falls apart. As Paul wrote, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor. 15:14).
But how do we know it really happened? First, circumstantial evidence: the tomb was empty and no one produced a body, not even Jesus’ enemies. Next, evidence from eyewitnesses: Mary Magdalene and this group of women (1,10); Cleopas and a friend (13-32); the disciples, both in Jerusalem (36-49) and beside Lake Galilee, and eventually more than 500 people at once (John 21). Then there’s corroborating evidence. “Put all this together–Josephus, the Roman historians and officials, the Jewish writings, the letters of Paul and the apostolic fathers–and you’ve got persuasive evidence that corroborates all the essentials found in the biographies of Jesus” (Lee Strobel). Finally there’s the evidence of the church, which has grown worldwide based on a belief in–and martyrdom for–the resurrection.
There’s a nuance in Luke’s resurrection account worth pondering: a lot of women followed Jesus around (1,10; Luke 8:1-3). Perhaps, for some, part of his appeal was his celebrity bachelor status, but I think it was more than that. Jesus took women seriously in a way that other men didn’t (11). The gospels are full of men who rejected Jesus. Perhaps women were more open to his message out of gratitude (John 4:1-42).
Jot down what you think are the three or four most persuasive proofs for the resurrection. Now pray for an opportunity to talk with your non-believing friends about it.
Risen Lord Jesus, I am blessed that You live within me in order that I may live for You.