Fact: Death steps aside for no man.
However, death was not the end-destiny for Jesus Christ. He did face death it is true. But death could not keep him down. Since He was God in the flesh, death had to step aside for Him. I realize this is difficult for some to believe or to understand.
The Bible records only two men who never faced death. They were both taken up into heaven without dying. Everyone else including you and me will face death one day – unless we are still alive when Jesus returns to gather His church.
In all the history of mankind there is only one man ever recorded who defeated death – Jesus Christ. But how do we know this to be true. After all even with all our technology and modern day science discoveries, we’re told this cannot happen, right?
I want to ask you to look at these four proofs of the resurrection of Christ as written by a former atheist, Lee Strobel, who went searching for the truth.
1. The proof of the empty tomb.
We have several accounts of people verifying the empty tomb. People who actually went in and looked around. The only thing left were the 70 pounds of linen that the dead body had been wrapped in. If someone had stolen the body, would they have first unwrapped it from that much heavy cloth? Matthew 28 records even the soldiers guarding the tomb gave a report to their superiors of the same things Jesus friends had recorded to be true about the empty tomb and the resurrection.
It was Jewish tradition to wrap the body in heavy linen from head to toe. His body was not only covered it was tightly wrapped – with 70 pounds of cloth. You try to wrestle your way out of even half that amount. And on top of this Jesus was badly beaten and without nourishment for three days. He could not have managed to work out of that material in his condition without help. His help came from above. He is the Son of God.
Soldiers were posted outside the tomb to insure no one came to steal the body. When a Roman soldier lost their captive, the soldier(s) were killed as penalty. These soldiers were not going to allow someone to steal a dead body. They even testified to their commanders which in itself should have brought their death. Instead a cover up by the Romans ensued.
2. The proof of eyewitnesses.
The Resurrection of Christ did not take place in a closet, hidden room, or secret society. For forty days people recorded seeing Jesus, walking and talking with him, and even eating with him. At one point Jesus is seen cooking breakfast on the beach with His disciples (John 21). This took place in a fishing village. Fishermen were coming in from a night of fishing. There would have been quite a few boats coming in and people from all the surrounding villages coming to purchase the fresh catch of the day.
The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:6 “Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive today.” He appeared to two men and walked with them. Six different occasions are recorded of people not only seeing Jesus, but spending time with Him.
3. The transformation of the Disciples.
If this was a hoax, if the resurrection of Jesus Christ was not real, why would eleven men live a life of ridicule, persecution, imprisonment, and other hardships, each one dying a cruel death for this belief? Who would subject himself to such cruelty over a joke or a hoax?
4. The working of God in people today.
There are people across this continent, around the world, and in church this week who can testify and tell you that the resurrection power of Jesus has freed them from the clutches of alcohol, drugs, pornography, a life of crime, and other sins of the world. The resurrection power of Jesus has saved marriages, and brought many, perhaps someone you know, out of depression. His resurrection is not only a saving power it is a power that brings purpose to life.
Jesus is alive and well with Resurrection Power! May we live as though we believe it.