The Easter facts are credible
On Easter Sunday, followers of Jesus reaffirm their belief that Jesus was raised from the dead. Easter is celebrated on Sunday, since it was on this day that Jesus rose from the dead and was seen by His disciples(Matthew 28:1-20).
The resurrection refers to Jesus' rising again from the dead three days after His burial. His burial followed his death on the cross. His death by crucifixion took place in Jerusalem in AD 30, immediately before the Jewish Passover.
Why is the resurrection important?
The resurrection is how we know that Jesus is really who He claimed to be. The resurrection from the dead is the foundational event for all of Jesus' teachings. Apart from this foundational truth, following Jesus is meaningless.
Can we believe in the resurrection?
First of all, are there credible Easter facts or is this annual spring holiday a conspiracy theory? If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, then what did happen?
The historical Easter facts are clear. He suffered on the cross and when examined by professional executioners, was pronounced dead. He was speared in His side and both blood and water gushed forth, indicating a ruptured pericardium (the sac around the heart).
Those who examined Him waived the Roman practice of breaking the legs because he was obviously dead. Jesus was a corpse taken from the cross and buried in a tomb cut out of a rock. Pilate ordered the tomb to be sealed and a Roman guard was set to ensure against grave theft (Matthew 27:62-66).
Jesus did not merely resuscitate. He did not revive from a coma. On the third day following His burial, Jesus rose again according to His own prophecies that death could not bind him. This historic narrative may be read in all of the New Testament Gospels: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20-21. The empty tomb points to one conclusion: Jesus is alive.
The New Testament records no less than a dozen instances of people witnessing the resurrected Christ on earth following His resurrection. For forty days, as few as two and as many as five hundred people at the same time, ate with Him and touched Him (John 20:14-31).
Over the centuries, skeptics and doubters have earnestly searched to disprove various historical Easter facts because they know that all vital faith rests on this historic phenomenon. If it can be disproved, the teachings of Jesus would mean nothing. However, the truth of Jesus' resurrection has stood the test of time.
Millions have had life-changing encounters with the person of Jesus. Followers of Jesus personally experience the presence and power of Jesus for one simple reason - He physically rose from the dead.
photo courtesy of Glen Van Etten
Because Jesus is alive:
The late Ray Stedman told the story about a man who had been an
alcoholic for many years before he became a follower of Jesus. One day a cynical friend asked him, "Now that you are a follower of Jesus, surely you don't believe all those miracles in the Bible, do you?"
"Yes I do," he answered. After a moment of silence the skeptical friend said, "Do you really believe that Jesus changed water into wine?" "I sure do," the new believer said. "But how can you believe such nonsense?"
"I'll tell you how -- in our house Jesus changed beer into furniture!"
Author: Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
For any reuse or distribution of Easter Facts or any of our free Bible study materials author credit and web address is required.
email us with questions or comments.
Return from Easter Facts to Inspirational Devotions