Dead and Alive
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-9
Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Jorge told his Sunday school class, “I know I’m a Christian. I know God loves me. But I’m just wondering how important it is to believe that Jesus really died and came back to life. Is it possible he just fainted or something?”
Some people have taken Jorge’s question a step further. They have tried to make sure everyone knows Christianity is a joke. But they haven’t been able to do it because they can’t explain away the historical fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
The Resurrection isn’t just a teensy part in our Christian belief—an idea we can toss. It’s huge! If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, we have no faith at all. If we get rid of the Resurrection, we have to get rid of Christianity. That’s why so many non-Christians have tried to prove that Jesus never rose from the dead.
Jorge didn’t know that some non-Christians have tried to use an idea like his to explain away the Resurrection. They argue that Jesus just fainted. Everyone thought Jesus was dead, the story goes, but he just woke up, and the disciples imagined he rose from the dead. One author cooked up an even crazier idea, saying that Jesus planned his arrest, trial, and crucifixion, arranging to be drugged on the cross so that he could fake his death.
That’s just not true. It’s a myth that’s impossible to believe when you understand what Jesus experienced on the day of his death.
Jesus was first beaten. What he suffered was so great that he collapsed when he was forced to carry his heavy cross to the place of his death. The death Jesus then experienced—his crucifixion—was gruesome. Jesus was taken down from the cross only after a Roman soldier assured the Roman governor that Jesus was truly dead.
The “Jesus was never really dead ” myth is hard to swallow. Don’t you think it’s easier to believe that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised on the third day?
Jesus was really dead. And now he’s really alive.
TALK: How do you feel, knowing that Jesus endured a horrible death for you?
PRAY: Ask God to help you make the Resurrection understandable to your non-Christian friends.
ACT: Say it in your own words: Why is the idea that Jesus never really died so unbelievable? Now explain it to a friend!