One truth that sets Christianity apart from all other religions is the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
No other religion claims its founder rose physically from the dead. And no other religion has proof that its version of what happens when we die is true. Has anyone any proof of reincarnation? Has anyone ever conclusively demonstrated they had been reincarnated from an earlier life?
Jesus gave his disciples “many proofs” that he was alive, so they would have no doubt.
AC 1.3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
Jesus appeared to his disciples numerous times over a 40-day period after he rose from the dead and before he ascended to heaven, and gave them “many proofs” that he was alive.
He appeared to 2 women at the tomb, to Mary Magdalene at the tomb, to 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus, to Peter in Jerusalem, to ten disciples in the upper room (Thomas not with them), then to 11 disciples in the upper room (Thomas there), to 7 disciples fishing in Galilee, to 11 disciples in Galilee, to 500 disciples at once, and to James, the Lord’s brother.
Jesus appeared to both individuals and groups. He appeared indoors and outdoors. He appeared to both men and women. He appeared at different times of the day. Jesus’ appearances were not grief-inspired hallucinations or phantasms created by people’s hyper-active imaginations conjuring a spirit when a floorboard creaked, like ghost hunter TV shows. There’s no account of Peter saying, “James! Did you feel that? I just felt something brush past me. I think it was Jesus!”
Jesus spoke to his disciples. He ate in their presence. He invited Thomas to put his finger in the nail marks and the wound in his side. The apostles saw him, heard him, touched him.
Jesus is alive! And because he is, we who have believed in him will also be raised to life. When believers die, we don’t grieve as those who have no hope. We grieve, yet know they are alive with Christ and we’ll see them again. We know because Jesus gave us irrefutable proof that he rose from the dead.
D.L. Moody expressed our confidence when he said, “Some day you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody, of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now.”
May Christ’s resurrection give you great hope today!
photo by hoyasmeg