It really happened.
The message of Jesus is a resurrection story. It’s not just another religious tale. This is not a myth. The way of Jesus is not a compilation of pleasant, moral teachings; it is historical. The Christian faith is not the exaggerated account and reconstructed ethics of an imaginary rabbi named Jesus; it is the result of a real human who lived a real life and then died a real death.
But he isn’t just a human.
And he didn’t stay dead.
The very fact that it is so improbable makes it all the more vital to consider.
Think about it. The original Christian leader, Peter, was a Jesus-denier. The first witnesses to the resurrection were women, in a first-century world that scorned their testimony. The movement started in Jerusalem, the epicenter of Judaism, where they began to worship a man who said you had to eat his flesh and drink his blood. To top it all off, the earliest believers were being tortured and killed for their claims of having seen the resurrected real-life body of Jesus. Not the greatest motivator to sign up for this new faith.
And yet it exploded.
How do you explain the birth and expansion of this faith if he did not rise from the dead? What do you do with the testimony of hundreds of people who had nothing to gain, and literally everything lose by making such resurrection claims? What if it’s true?
It means light beats darkness.
Life beats death.
Justice beats oppression.
Cancer is going to bow. Poverty is going to bow. Racism is going to bow.
All things become new.
It means it’s not too late for you.
It means there is more hope for you that you ever thought possible, because the very worst thing this world can throw at you is death. And Jesus beat it. Which means death may be able to snatch you from this world; but Jesus is going to snatch you from death.
Which means you don’t need to be afraid of anything.
Which means the word impossible has been fundamentally altered for those who believe Jesus. His earthly ministry is bookended by two impossibilities: a virgin’s womb and an empty tomb. I don’t know how bad your situation is, but, he’s got this. There is nothing he can’t do. There is no mountain he can’t move. There is no life he can’t redeem.
Oh redemption. What a delicious word.
Great news! Jesus lived the life I should have lived. And then he died the death I deserved to die. But early Sunday morning, just as he promised, he rose. And so will you, if you’ll just believe.
Let’s go change the world.