You Can’t Get Around the Empty Tomb
Bible Reading: Acts 1:1-5
During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time and proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. Acts 1:3
For forty days after his crucifixion, Jesus let his disciples see him. He gave the world living proof that he had actually come back to life. Despite that evidence, some folks still argue that Jesus never really rose from the dead. They think he’s still stuck in a grave, as gone as the day he died on the cross.
Suppose you lived back in Bible times and you really despised everything Jesus stood for. You totally hated his teachings. You disliked this wonder-worker from Nazareth so much that you wanted to prove his disciples went to the wrong tomb on Easter morning. You wanted people to think that instead of going to the tomb where Jesus had been buried, his followers went to an empty one.
To disprove the Resurrection, all you would have needed was one necessary piece of evidence. If you knew that Jesus was actually dead and his disciples were just directionally challenged, you would only have needed to pop open the right tomb and point to the dead body. That—of course—didn’t happen.
The other excuses people offer for the empty tomb aren’t any better.
Some insist that the disciples stole the body of Christ. But a handful of disciples would have been easily chased away by the elite Roman troops guarding the tomb.
Still others believe that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross—that he was just unconscious from exhaustion and lack of blood, and he regained consciousness in the cool tomb. But the idea that a whipped, wounded, and weakened Christ could bust loose from a tomb sealed with a two-ton stone—that’s laughable.
Those are silly stories.
Here’s the real scoop: Three days after Jesus was crucified, his tomb was empty. The followers of Jesus saw him alive from the dead. He appeared to them over a period of forty days, offering them many certain proofs that no one could deny. Paul reported that Jesus even appeared to more than five hundred of his followers at one time, most of whom were still alive when Paul wrote and could back up or boo his report.
Christians believe Jesus was raised from the dead by the supernatural power of God, and Jesus offered solid proof of his bodily resurrection. It might be tough to believe that a man could rise from the dead, but the problems of not believing are even tougher.
TALK: That’s the evidence. The verdict? Jesus Christ actually rose from the dead, and he lives today. Are you letting him live in you today?
PRAY: Jesus, we want your resurrection power to fill us up today. Be our Lord and take charge of our life.
ACT: Talk with a non-Christian friend about how it’s harder not to believe Jesus rose from the dead than to believe he did.