On the Saturday after Jesus was crucified, His followers must have felt utterly defeated. Meanwhile, the Pharisees felt they had silenced a critic, the Romans felt they had quashed a rebellion, and the governor had washed his hands of the whole affair.
Then Sunday morning dawned, the gravestone was rolled away, and history was turned inside out. The news–Jesus is alive!–was almost too good to be true. Yet it was undeniably true. So true that His disciples dedicated the rest of their lives to telling the whole world the Good News about Jesus Christ.
On the cross, He died for our sins.
In the tomb, He defeated death.
Nowhere else in this sin-sick world can we find such everlasting hope.
Modern medicine is wonderful–almost miraculous sometimes–but doctors will never defeat death. Now, some of us may live to be a hundred or more. My “Uncle” Bev Shea is 102 and just traveled to Los Angeles to receive a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Every day we have on this earth is a gift from God, but ultimately everyone has to be prepared to face death and judgment. Through the triumph of the cross and resurrection, Jesus has already dealt with both of those.
Unfortunately, multitudes of people who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior are putting their hopes in the wrong places. In the secular West, we put our confidence in government and science. We define security in terms of money in the bank.
Globally, billions of people blindly follow religions that will never lead them to eternal life. In Egypt, a powerful group called the Muslim Brotherhood has a creed that says, “Islam is the solution.” Muslims believe Jesus was a great prophet, but they do not believe He was crucified or resurrected.
Without that faith, their solution is completely futile. Apart from Christ, men everywhere are separated and alienated from God, without hope in this world or the next. The Apostle Paul wrote, “there is none righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). Jesus’ resurrection changes everything. Faith in Christ’s work on the cross brings forgiveness of sin and imputes God’s righteousness to us. Lost, sinful man is reconciled to God.
Just listen to Paul, who was brutally opposed to the Gospel until he encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. “If Christ has not been raised,” he wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
The resurrection assures Christians that we don’t have to fear the grave. “When you were dead in your sins … God made you alive with Christ” (Colossians 2:13).
Scripture Quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ©2011.