From the beginning of the world death has been a HUGE problem. Death is bleak & permanent. For thousands of years early man was generally ignorant of such a notion as “the resurrection”. Egyptians about 2400 B.C. seemed to believe in an afterlife. The very rich ones made pyramids to protect & house their mummies & possessions in the hope of a resurrection. About that time our Bible began to be written, & the resurrection is mentioned by Job. (Job is considered by many to be the oldest part of Scripture.) He writes “. . . after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.” 19:26 Then about 800 B.C. we have an excellent glimpse of resurrection when a dead man was thrown into Elisha’s tomb on top of his bones. The dead man came back to life. 2 Kings 13:21 And there are other allusions of O.T. resurrection.
Well, it appears to me that “the resurrection” is the most powerful teaching of the Bible BECAUSE it applies to ALL MORTALS – if it’s real we can beat death. And for those who want to believe in “the resurrection”, Jesus Christ the Jewish Messiah came along 2 K years ago & gave us the CLEAREST information on this glorious subject. He brought back at least five persons during His three year ministry in Palestine. When Christ raised Lazarus he gave these words, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 And that penetrating question, “do you believe this,” has rattled millions of people for thousands of years.
One of the first rattled by the resurrection of J.C. was none other than “doubting” Thomas the apostle. The other 10 had seen the resurrected Jesus on His day of emerging alive from the tomb. Thomas was missing & when told they had seen Jesus alive, he said “. . . I will not believe.” Eight days later he ate those words when Christ appeared to the 11 together. Jesus zeroed in on Thomas & said, “. . . see my hands; and put out your hand and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.” Thomas answered, “My Lord and my God!” That response of Thomas the realist always gives me a thrill.
In spite of the Thomas incident, the resurrection may still be hard to believe. BUT we do have the yearly & global Easter holiday. Is it just an illusion or grand scale religious deception?? I don’t think a fake Easter event could change the world & hold up for 2 K years. Logically we really can “believe this”, and when we do “believe w/o seeing”, God has promised to bless us. see John 20:24-29. The Resurrection and Eternal Life is not only God’s best gift to this troubled world, but it is also the main message of Christianity.
-- Isaiah 26:19 “Thy dead shall live, their bodies shall rise. O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy! . . .”
-- Daniel 12:2 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
-- 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”
-- 1 Corinthians 15:55 “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?”
The New Testament teaches that once we believe in Christ & the Resurrection, we can personally participate in it. And that should be a comforting thought for all who will ultimately meet the coroner & undertaker, which includes YOU and ME . . . Choose Jesus, He is alive. Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” See also link 163 “To Be Or Not To Be”.
Many other Titles: www.gospelnotes.net – Link 0 is Index * * F. J. Stone * *