Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter

On Sunday, millions of Christians worldwide will celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. For believers, the Resurrection is the pivotal event of Christianity. Other holidays get a lot more attention, but this is the event that defines the faith.

Without it, Christianity would crumble and could easily be classified as the biggest hoax of all time. Jesus would have been just another false prophet who did not deliver on what He promised if the Resurrection did not take place.

I know these are strong words, but it is impossible for me to over-emphasize the importance of this event. Simply put, deciding whether Jesus was crucified as an atonement for our sins and then was resurrected is the most important question a person will face.

When analyzing whether Jesus rose, one of the most compelling pieces of evidence supporting this is the behavior of those closest to Him. In this case, I am referring to his closest disciples.

When Jesus was arrested and crucified, they ran for their lives. They were terrified, and Peter went as far as to publicly deny Him three times.

Some are quick to criticize Peter, but we should all know better. All Christians at some point have denied Jesus in some way. We should be grateful that our denials were not documented in the best-selling book of all time. Jesus forgave Peter, and we can all learn from that act of forgiveness

The main point here is that the disciples were distraught. Their Master was dead, and the religious leaders, the Roman authorities, and the public were after their hide.

In contrast with that, compare their behavior then to their behavior only a few days later. Not only did they stop running, but they began to actively proclaim the Gospel.

What could have caused such a quick turnaround? They met the resurrected Jesus.

As previously stated, they fled with fear after Jesus was arrested and crucified. It would have taken a supernatural event to cause such a dramatic turnaround.

This is exactly what happened. They encountered Jesus again, and their perceptions of Him and what He was sending them to do fortified their hearts. Despite the torture and hardship that awaited them, they willingly took the Gospel into the world.

Consider what these men were undertaking. These men were basically poor peasants with no clout, and they were going to challenge the most powerful empire in the world.

The message they would carry would bring upheaval, and history shows us that the Romans were not patient when it came to those bringing instability to their empire.

Again, why would they do this? Because they were absolutely certain what they believed in was true. The reality of the Resurrection of Jesus cemented His teachings in their souls.

People don't suffer and die for something they know to be a lie or a hoax. A person would be nuts to willingly suffer in the ways these men suffered if they knew it was all a lie.

History is littered with people who committed to a cause but then jumped ship as soon as it got tough.

However, it did not work that way with the disciples. They did not compromise. And we are the people who benefited from this the most.

1 comment:

Tenn Irish said...

The History Channel ran an excellent program this week, in which the face (and body) on the Shroud of Turin was "brought to life" by computer technology. It was amazing to see. And strangely, the face very closely resembled the one reconstructed from 1st century skulls and paintings of Jewish men from various museums.