Published on Friday, March 23, 2018
The pinnacle of Christianity is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! It is the hope of eternal life that makes us want to believe, but how do we know it really happened? Let’s take a look back at how all the people reacted at that time.
Guards At the Tomb
The Jewish leaders of the time knew that Jesus said he would rise after 3 days. They were afraid the disciples would come and steal his body and claim he was resurrected, so guards were put in charge of protecting the tomb. A rock, estimated to weigh two tons, was also placed in front of the tomb just to be sure it was secure.
So here we have Roman guards, who were used to killing people, guarding a tomb with a two-ton rock in front of it. Yet the Bible informs us that an angel removed the stone and the guards became like dead men when they saw the angel (Matthew 28:4). When the guards ran away to tell the Jewish leaders, they were paid to spread the rumor that the disciples stole the body.
The Women at the Tomb
On the day of the supposed resurrection, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome were bringing spices to the tomb to anoint Jesus’s body. Spices were used to help eliminate the smell of a decaying body. They also talked about who was going to roll away the large stone in front of the tomb. When they arrived at the tomb these women were not expecting to see a resurrected Jesus, yet the angel who removed the stone told them he was now risen. They then met Jesus on the way back to tell the disciples. They were now convinced.
“The resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”
Sir Lionel Luckhoo
The women came back from the tomb to convince the disciples that Jesus was resurrected. They did not believe them. In fact, the Bible tells us they were locked in an upper room for fear of the Jews. They were afraid because a rumor was circulating that they had stolen the body of Jesus and would be killed for it. Yet Jesus appeared before them and revealed Himself. They were now eyewitnesses of the Resurrected Christ and believed!
What a change that had occurred. Instead of being afraid, they all changed course and started spreading the Resurrection message. All of them died horrific deaths as martyrs defending the resurrection (except John)! These terrible deaths included beheadings, being stoned to death, crucifiction, being burned alive, and being sawed in half. There was no motive for the disciples to believe except that he truly was Resurrected!
The Jewish People of Jerusalem
The spread of Christianity started in Jerusalem. It started after Jesus showed Himself to the disciples and then to over 500 people. Why is that important? It was this small group of people who spread the message in the same town where Jewish leaders, Scribes, Pharisees, and teachers of the law lived. And this small group convinced all the others. This would be the equivalent of going to Vatican City and starting a new religion! If these eyewitnesses were wrong and Jesus had not risen, the leaders should have been able to produce enough evidence to stop the growth of Christianity. The only evidence they could produce was their claim that the disciples had stolen His body.
The Early Followers of Christ
The early Christians were persecuted for refusing to worship Roman or Egyptian gods. If the people of that time did not offer sacrifices to these gods, they were given unthinkable punishments - from being covered with animal skin and torn apart by dogs, to suffocation to being burned alive. Clement of Rome estimated 5,000 Christian martyrs per day. Yet Christianity spread despite all of this! Why would so many people be willing to suffer these punishments if Jesus did not rise from the dead to give us eternal life?
The evidence of the Resurrection is so strong that Sir Lionel Luckhoo, dubbed the world’s most successful lawyer in 1990, said, “The resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”
Have a Blessed Easter, knowing you have been saved!
Mark Apelt | Regional Product Specialist
Author: Mark Apelt
Categories: We Are Beck's
Tags: We Are Beck's, Easter Reflections
3/27/2018 7:27 AM
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4/2/2018 8:32 AM
I really appreciate the kind words and glad you enjoyed the article. May God bless you this Easter and always!