The humiliation and public crucifixion of Jesus the Lord that fateful Friday was the height of ‘victory’ for the Jews and their authorities. On the contrary, no amount of words could sufficiently explain the grief, discouragement, and defeat the disciples experienced. Then came this morning of the first day of the week and the grant pronouncement at the tomb: “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay,” Matt. 28:6. Tables turned.
It couldn’t have been a hoax
Despite the numerous objections that have been leveled against the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus (the swoon, twin, hallucination the wrong tomb theories), not a single one of these has been weighty enough. History could have recorded Jesus’ whereabouts after a miraculous escape from the cross or if someone had helped him down as claimed; the Jewish authorities could have easily produced his body if the women had simply missed his tomb and that would have been the last nail on the coffin. It also doesn’t beat logic that the disciples underwent such grave persecution knowing very well that they had stolen the body or that the resurrection was just a hoax to protect the claims of their dead master. Rarely do people die for such lies.
The implication of the bodily resurrection of Jesus are profound. First, it offers an equivocal confirmation to the claims of Jesus. Such include his claims as the Son of God; the way, the truth and the life; one with the Father and in whose blood is the forgiveness of all sins (John 3:35; 14:6, 11; Matt. 26:28). Secondly, the resurrection is the cornerstone of Christianity. As Dr. William Craig, the professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology says, “Without the belief in the resurrection the Christian faith could not have come into being. The disciples would have remained crushed and defeated men…” On the contrary, the resurrection was a humongous occurrence that shaped the Jews’ social structure in notable ways- thousands gave up animal sacrifices, the keeping of the Law of Moses and even the keeping of the Sabbath. It was now the Lord’s day! Thirdly, on the basis of the truth of the resurrection, all objections, counter faiths and religions fall flat on the face.
The Heart of the Gospel
The resurrection thus, becomes the heart of the Gospel for, ‘If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9). In the resurrection we have a living hope (1 Peter 1: 3-4); without the resurrection, our faith is futile, we are still in our sins… we are of all people most to be pitied! (1 Corinthians 15: 16-19). On his conclusion on ‘the Evidence for Resurrection,’ C.S Lewis says, “If our conclusion in the case for Christ is correct, your future in eternity hinges on how you respond to Christ (John 8:24).” He is risen, thank God for the resurrection!