How do you feel about Christ’s resurrection? In the 1980’s it became fashionable for Christians to deny that such supernatural events had truly taken place. But a Christian faith without the power to empty a tomb is an empty faith!
Peter focused part of his Pentecost sermon on the power behind the resurrection of Jesus. He proclaimed it forthrightly! The events he was speaking about had taken place less than two months before. Jesus’ death on the cross and news of his later resurrection were still hot news in Jerusalem and beyond.
Jesus’ execution on a cross outside of the city had taken place in public. I imagine that several people listening to Peter at Pentecost had seen it for themselves. His empty tomb was available for inspection just a short walk away from where Peter was speaking. If Jesus had not truly died, if the tomb was not truly empty, then Peter would have been laughed at or simply ignored. If Jesus had not been resurrected, then the Roman or Jewish authorities would have produced his body and put an end to Peter’s sermon on the spot. The fledgling Christian faith would have died on its feet.
But Peter and his fellow disciples had seen Christ’s death and resurrection, and it changed them. They had seen and met with the resurrected Jesus. And so, in the power of his Holy Spirit, they announced the news with great passion, conviction and authenticity. And because of that, many people believed them.
Our faith and our credibility as followers of Jesus rest on the truth of the empty tomb. Why? Because his resurrection means he is the Son of God, just as he said he was. It means his word and his promises can be trusted. It means the sacrifice he made for our sin on the cross was indeed acceptable to God. Because of that we can be sure we will be truly forgiven by God. It means that our Saviour is still living and active in our lives and in the world. He is here to help us with his Holy Spirit power when we are in need. It means that one day, we too will conquer death and live with God for ever.
Think It Over
Think about the following:
• Are you embarrassed when you try to explain to a non-Christian about Christ’s resurrection? Why do you think it’s important to emphasise it?
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