If you could meet any person of the past and ask them just one question, whom would you meet and what question would you ask them?
There has been more than one person who has replied to this question with a desire to meet Jesus Christ and ask him the most important question in the world, “Did you rise from the dead?”
In other words, they want to know if the first Easter really happened. Did Jesus physically rise from the dead and is he alive reigning in heaven today?
The resurrection is at the very heart of Christianity. It is the resurrection that makes Christianity unique. If you were to ask the question what is the difference between Christianity and all other religions? The answer is basically very simple. Christianity is the only religion in the world based on the resurrection from the dead of its founder.
No Buddhist has ever claimed that Buddha rose from the dead. When Buddha died they claim that he passed away in to complete nothingness. Mohammed according to tradition died at 61 years old on 8th June 632 AD in Medina. His tomb is visited annually by millions of devote Muslims. Throughout the ages the claims of Christianity have been that Jesus not only died but he rose from the dead and he is alive today.
Some years ago a bloke called Frank Morrison started to write a book seeking to disprove the claims of Christianity. In particular he wanted to show how the resurrection of Jesus was based on false claims. As he studied the life of Jesus and sifted through the evidence of his life, death and resurrection he ended up writing a book that proved the claims of Christianity. The book, ‘Who moved the stone’ ended up a best seller for 50 years. Since Frank wrote his book many others have done researched this topic in a similar way and as a result their lives have been changed forever.
Christianity is not based on a ‘stick your head in the sand and hope to heck you got it right’ approach. Christians do not need to ‘close their ears off’ to whatever their critics might say and neither do we need to be fearful of comments, books and videos written by those who oppose the claims of Christianity because God has left us with heaps of evidence that supports the claims of Christianity.
This Easter, if someone asked you what evidence is there for the bodily resurrection of Jesus, what would you answer? In our resource centre at church we have a number of books that will help you in this preparation so that you can give reason for the hope that you have but we must always ensure that we do this with gentleness and respect.