By: Pastor David
“He isn't here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.” Matthew 28:6 (NLT)
Throughout history many have claimed to be God, speak for God, or to have God-like powers. The Pharaoh's of Egypt were considered gods who would rule in the afterlife. Some of the Roman emperors and their family members were worshipped as gods as well. In modern days, cult leaders like Jim Jones and David Koresh had followers who deified them.
All these charlatans are dead now, and their followers are scattered. No one seriously considers any of them to be any more than a footnote in history.
Only Jesus Christ stands apart from the rest. He had followers and claimed to be God like the others, but why is He worshipped and taken seriously? One word. Resurrection.
If there is no resurrection, then Jesus is a liar and gets in line with all the other counterfeits we mentioned before. The apostle Paul echoed this sentiment in 1 Cor. 15:14 when he says, "And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless." (NLT)
C.S. Lewis explains what Jesus becomes if He isn't what He claimed to be in his trilemma argument.
"A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
Jesus resurrected from the grave and defeated death. Not only that but He predicted that He would die and rise again. Hundreds witnessed the crucifixion. Scripture says 500 eyewitnesses saw Him after the resurrection and most of them were killed because they were not willing to recant seeing Him alive.
Easter matters because it validates our faith that Jesus Christ is God.
- How does knowing the resurrection happened strengthen your faith?
- If Jesus conquered death, then what else can He conquer?