26. March, 2013

Fact #1: Jesus’ life, death, and burial


Jesus died by crucifixion at the hands of the Romans.  Afterward, His body was placed in a tomb by a man named Joseph of Arimathea.  Joseph was a well known Jewish leader, and the location of his tomb was well known.  The tomb was sealed according to Jewish custom with a heavy stone that would take many men to move out of the way.  This all happened on the first Good Friday, around the year 33 AD.


Fact #2: Jesus’ tomb was found empty on the third day.


On the third day following Good Friday, a group of Jesus’ followers who were women went to the tomb.  When they arrived there, they found that the heavy stone that had sealed the tomb had been rolled away.  When the women came closer, they saw that the tomb was empty.  Jesus was not there – His body was missing from the tomb.  This happened on the Sunday following Jesus’ death: the first Easter Sunday.


Fact #3: Jesus appears to many.


Over the next few weeks, Jesus appeared to many of His followers, and even people who had been His enemies.  He appeared to individuals such as Peter and John.  He appeared to groups of people such as the apostles.  He even appeared to over 500 people at the same time.  During these appearances, He talked with the people, ate with the people, was touched by people, and taught the people important lessons about who He was.  He even convinced a man named Saul who was attacking Christians to change his ways and become a Christian.  This man later became St. Paul.


Fact #4: The origin of the first disciples’ faith.


Jesus’ first disciples came to understand that Jesus had done exactly what He said He would do: suffer, die, and then rise from the dead.  Even though they were made fun of for their faith, put in jail for telling people what Christ had done, and even beaten and severely punished for spreading the good news of Jesus rising from the dead, they did not stop telling people about the Resurrection.  Even though the authorities threatened the disciples with death and even killed many of them, they would not stop spreading the Gospel.  Through the work of these first disciples more and more people started to believe in Christ, and the Church grew and spread, eventually throughout the entire world.



These four facts are historical truth.  Many, many experts, even those who don’t believe in the Bible, are convinced that these four facts are real history, just as real as George Washington being our first president.  What event could possibly explain these facts?  There is only one explanation that fits all of the facts, and explains them fully: Jesus Christ really rose from the dead on that first Easter Sunday, just as He said He would do.  After He suffered and died in order to forgive our sins, He came back to life, never to die again.  Today He makes the promise of eternal life to all who believe in Him; to all who trust Him with their salvation.