Raised in Power
It’s possible to love a dead man.
But to die for him? That just doesn’t make sense.
What about a dead man that had ruined your life? Taken you from an honest profession, made you a radical, led you through days and nights of homelessness and hunger. When you stood below his cross at the bitter end, with all your dreams dead and your life in shambles, wouldn’t you be ready to be done with him for good?
Men who have been betrayed don’t break into the imposter’s tomb to make it look like his promises have come true.
The only logical response would be to turn your back and make a clean break with the past. To search among the ruins of your blighted life and carve a path of your own. You would try to forget. You might or might not try to forgive.
Think about the disciples. They had never planned to be apostles; they were simple, down-to-earth working men. Jesus had called them to a life that they weren’t looking for, and it was a hard life. And then he died.
If Christ had been the impostor that the Pharisees claimed he was, the disciples would have gone home – beaten, silenced and beyond bitter. But they didn’t.
They preached – preached when they were accused and threatened and bloodied for it. They sacrificed and served. Eventually, some of them were martyred.
There is only one explanation. They had seen God.
Seen him in a human body.
Seen him die.
Seen him resurrected.
The disciples’ response is one powerful proof that Jesus did not stay in the grave. Paul was absolutely right that if Christ had not been raised, our faith would be an illusion. The resurrection is what gives power to the gospel story. Ultimately, it is the truth of the resurrection that gives us a message and a mission.
Sometimes our life and witness feels tired. Worn a little thin in places, maybe. Those are good times to remember the wonder and significance of the resurrection. Christ not only died for us, but rose again in power as a guarantee of eternal life to all his brothers.
Remembering the empty tomb is like a breath of fresh air for our world-weary souls. We can say with Peter: “This Jesus God raised up, being exalted at the right hand of God.”
And with Paul: “Since we have such a hope, we are very bold.”