27th April 2011

He Really Is Risen!

“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty”
2 Peter 1:16 (NKJV)

A friend of mine was asked at the time when that bloodthirsty film, The Passion of the Christ, first came out, had he seen the film yet. His answer was classic: “No, but I have read the book.”

Reading once again the accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion, and this time in a harmony of the four gospels which brought the four accounts into one continuous narrative, took the story somehow to a different climax, I was struck once again by the human inevitability of it all. The gospels begin with what led up to Christ’s birth, a fact often missed in the telling of the tale at Christmas, through his ministry and the rising hostility of the religious authorities, his death and then his resurrection. From time to time various authorities asked Jesus tricky questions to try to catch him out. See, they weren’t interested in proving whether he was who he claimed to be, they were only interested in debunking this imposter for their own selfish reasons.

We live in a similar age of scepticism. No one takes anything at face value. Our politicians lie to us, we say; our bankers steal from us; who knows who tells us the truth anymore? The death of Marilyn Monroe, obviously a conspiracy of silence over what really happened. The same with President Kennedy, or Dr Kelly. But not so with Christ’s death. There the authorities tried to make it into a conspiracy, but the truth was already out there for all to see.

Jesus died (yes, he really did die all over, as the expression goes), and then he was resurrected to life immortal. And it’s not a tall tale or a conspiracy. Men and women do not die, as did the early Christians, for a lie. They knew better. Many at the time had seen the risen Christ, and were witness to the truth of that resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:6). Many were willing to lay down their lives at the time for the promise of the future. And you don’t do that for a lie. Graphic as that film was, the real story as told, first hand by the eye witnesses, is a much more gripping tale, because it rings true, and it is all true! 

Heavenly Father, we human beings see conspiracy and lies in everything we are told about today. But help us to understand that the gospel messages are the truth, all the truth, and only the truth. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford 

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