(11) And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. (12) Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.Luke 24:11-12
Not only did Christ die on the cross for our sins and rise from the dead, but He also revealed the whole thing to us in a way we could receive it. Hundreds of years before it happened, He told us that it would through His prophets. Then He poured His life into disciples who were with Him. They heard Him make predictions about His own death and resurrection. Then they were there to witness the reality of what had happened. They saw Jesus alive. They even gave their lives for Him on the cross.
(18) And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. (19) But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. (20) For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.Acts 4:18-20
These men who had denied Christ and run away were now willing to give their lives because of what they saw and heard. It was not just something to be believed and taught in theory. They saw Jesus die, and then they saw Him rise again bodily. They saw Him in the flesh.
The implications are monumental and important. This is what Paul was speaking of in 1 Corinthians 15:12-21.
(12) Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
(13) But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
(14) And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
(15) Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
(16) For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
(17) And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
(18) Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
(19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
(20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
(21) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.1 Corinthians 5:12-21
Billy Graham told of a conversation he had with the Chancellor of Germany.
I was invited to have coffee one morning with Konrad Adenauer before he retired as the Chancellor of Germany. When I walked in, I expected to meet a tall, stiff, formal man who might even be embarrassed if I brought up the subject of religion. After the greeting, the Chancellor suddenly turned to me and said, “Mr. Graham, what is the most important thing in the world?” Before I could answer, he had answered his own question. He said, “The resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ is alive, then there is hope for the world. If Jesus Christ is in the grave, then I don’t see the slightest glimmer of hope on the horizon.” Then he amazed me by saying that he believed that the resurrection of Christ was one of the best-attested facts of history. He said, “When I leave office, I intend to spend the rest of my life gathering scientific proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” It was the fact of the resurrection of Christ that called the disciples to go out as burning young revolutionaries to change the world of their day. They preached that Christ is alive. This should be our message every day of the year.
The truth is this: If Jesus Christ rose from the dead, then it means your sins can be forgiven and they must be forgiven. You do not have to die in your sins. You can have a home in heaven and be right with God.
Today is a chance to repent and believe. Today is a chance to trust in Christ by faith. Today is a chance to share the good news of the Gospel- the death, burial, and resurrection for our sins with the world.
What should your response be to the resurrection today?