Jesus Christ conquered death and through him, we can conquer death and live again.
He said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25).
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:5-6).
“Christianity does not hold the resurrection to be one among many tenets of belief. Without faith in the resurrection there would be no Christianity at all. The Christian church would never have begun; the Jesus-movement would have fizzled out like a damp squib with His execution. Christianity stands or falls with the truth of the resurrection. Once disprove it, and you have disposed of Christianity.” (M. Green, Man Alive)
• to Mary Magdalene, John 20:10-18
• to the other women, Matthew 28: 8-10
• to Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus, Luke 24:13-32
• to eleven disciples and others, Luke 24:33-49
• to ten apostles and others, with Thomas absent, John 20:19-23
• to Thomas and the other apostles, John 20:26-30
• to seven apostles, John 21: 1-14
• to the disciples, Matthew 28:16-20
• And he was with the apostles at the Mount of Olives beofre his ascension, Luke 24:50-52 and Acts 1:4-9
“Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander the Great, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, he shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of school, he spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, he set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.” – Historian, Philip Schaff
“I am an historian, I am not a believer,” wrote H. G. Wells, “but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”
“As the centuries pass, the evidence is accumulating that, measured by His effect on history, Jesus is the most influential life ever lived on this planet.” – Historian, Kenneth Scott Latourette
“Jesus of Nazareth remains the most important individual who has ever lived. Nobody else has had comparable influence over so many nations for so long. Nobody else has so affected art and literature, music and drama. Nobody else can remotely match his record in the liberation, the healing and the education of mankind. Nobody else has such a multitude not only of followers but of worshippers” (John Stott).
It’s hard to travel 100 miles in any direction in the world today without encountering a symbol of the cross. No symbol in human history has gone through such a transformation from its origins. The cross was first an instrument of torture and death reserved for traitors and violent criminals. How strange that such a symbol can be found everywhere in the world as a form of art, jewelry and architecture.
“The cross should have been an embarrassment to the early church. What would people think when they discovered that the founder of Christianity had been executed like a low-life criminal? But instead of denying this, or covering it up, Christians advertised it. The very thing that most people considered too obscene to whisper in polite company, Christians were broadcasting in the streets” (Philip Graham Ryken).
The cross became a precious symbol of faith and glory to Christians. “May I never boast” wrote the apostle Paul, “except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gala. 6:14).
The authenticity of Christianity is clear on many accounts, including the following,
- “The idea of a crucified god really did not make sense in the first century. It’s not a message you make up if you’re going to start a religion in the first century A.D.” (Ben Witherington).
- The first recorded witnesses to the resurrection were women. This is significant because a woman’s testimony was not considered credible in first century legal systems. But the documents telling the story give the actual account of what happened without pandering to the expectations of the times. The facts are presented as they happened.
- The four gospels were written by and on behalf of eyewitnesses. They were also circulated during the lifetimes of those who were alive at the time of Jesus’ resurrection. If Jesus’ body had still been in the tomb, these people could have easily discredited the accuracy of the accounts.
“The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities: a virgin’s womb and an empty tomb. Jesus entered our world through a door marked ‘no entrance’ and left through a door marked ‘no exit’” (Peter Larson).
If we take Jesus Christ at his word, everyone should expect to be resurrected. Jesus said, “a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28-29).