Living Hope

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is risen! He is risen indeed! How do we know this? Let’s look at the record, the facts. Let's see how living witnesses shared the living hope!

Jesus of Nazareth, who claimed to be the Messiah, preached throughout Israel, in Galilee, Samaria, and Jerusalem. He was arrested, tried, and crucified. His body was wrapped in linen cloth following Jewish burial customs. Then his body was placed in a solid rock tomb with an extremely large stone rolled against the entrance. A Roman guard was stationed to guard the tomb, and then the tomb was sealed with the Roman seal to prevent vandalism. Three days later when some women went to the tomb, they found the body was gone. In the following weeks, his disciples claimed that God had raised Jesus from the dead and that he appeared to them at various times before ascending to heaven. Beginning with the testimony of living witnesses, Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire and the Good News has continued to spread through the centuries. No credible evidence of hostile witnesses has ever been proved.

For Consideration
The empty tomb could have been proved false if that were the case. Both Jewish and Roman sources admit there was an empty tomb.

In the Roman military guards could be put to death for the smallest infraction. They surely fled in fear of their lives when they discovered the stone had been removed and Jesus’ body was no longer there.

The burial clothes remained in the tomb and appeared in the same position.

Jesus appeared to…

First to Mary Magdalene. (John 20:14, 16, 18; Mark 16:9)
Then to the other women. (Matthew 28:9)
To Peter. (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5)
To Cleopas and the other disciple on the way to Emmaus. (Luke 24:15)
In the closed room, to ten disciples. (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19, 20)
To the eleven. (John 20:26, 29)
In the mountains, to the eleven. (Matthew 28:10, 17)
At the sea, to Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee, and two
other disciples. (John 21:1, 14)
To five hundred brethren at once. (1 Corinthians 15:6)
To James, and to all the apostles. )Acts 1:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:7)
To Paul. (Acts 9:3-6; 22:17-21; 23:11; 1 Corinthians 15:8)

Scripture records they talked with him, ate with him, and touched him. According to the Apostle Paul, Jesus appeared to over 500 followers over a period of 40 days after the resurrection and before ascending to heaven.

Yes, He is risen! He is risen indeed! Living witnesses and a living hope!

“In his great mercy he had given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…” 1 Peter 1:3


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