He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

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He is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!

After looking at the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection I believe that the traditional Easter greeting is appropriate.  On Easter one person says, “He is risen!” and the other responds “He is risen indeed!”.  I believe that response is more than just a statement of faith on the part of that person, I believe that it’s the best explanation of all the facts we’ve looked at surrounding the claim of Jesus’ resurrection.

4-5 resurrection investigate

Opposing Theories

Ever since the first time the resurrection of Jesus was proclaimed, opposing theories have been put together to explain away the resurrection.  Rejecting the supernatural, alternate ways have been posed to explain the facts by natural means.  But any theory, for or against, has to account for all five minimal facts I have presented the past five weeks.

The first opposing theory given was that the disciples stole the body.  This accounts for the empty tomb but doesn’t account for the disciples actions which show that they really believed he rose and appeared to them and they were willing to die for that belief.  Nor does it explain the sudden change in Paul and James, which they said was because the risen Jesus appeared to them.

Others have said they were just hallucinating when the disciples thought they saw Jesus but groups of people don’t share hallucinations.  Plus, while they might have been in the frame of mind, in their grief, to hallucinate seeing him, Paul and James wouldn’t have been in that same frame of mind.  What’s more this doesn’t account for the empty tomb.

When Natural Explanations Don’t Work, Consider the Supernatural

empty tomb (1)Of course we should always start by looking for natural explanations, but when none are found and the evidence is strong that something actually happened, we should be open to considering the supernatural.  This is certainly true when a supernatural explanation is at home.  Jesus lived a sinless life and was an amazing moral teacher.  He claimed to be God and to be the way to God the Father.  He told people to trust in him for their eternal salvation.  What’s more he backed up those claims with his miracles and he said that when he was killed he’d rise from the dead.  After that he was crucified and then appeared to and convinced friends and foes alike that he had indeed risen.  If someone claimed that John F. Kennedy rose from the dead that would be out of place, but with Jesus such a claim is right at home.

But Why?

Jesus’ death and resurrection makes even more sense when you understand the purpose.  The Bible says, and most of us would admit, that we’ve sinned against God.  Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”.  Jesus said that’s why he came.  He said he came “to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mt 20:28, Mk 10:45)  Jesus came to give his life for us to pay the penalty for our sins.  Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”   Jesus can offer us eternal life because he died in our place to pay the death penalty for our sins.

Why would Jesus do this for us?  John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  God is the one we’ve sinned against but he loves us so much that he was willing to become a man and come here so that he could pay for our sins himself.  This way he can be just, seeing that the penalty for sin is paid, and we can be forgiven.  Jesus’ resurrection from the dead shows that the price for our sins has been paid in full.

Jesus Has Done This for You – Have You Accepted His Gift?

In his great love Jesus endured a horrible death for you on the cross.  He is God, though, as he claimed, and the grave couldn’t hold him.  He rose again from the dead, victorious over sin and death.  Now he offers you forgiveness and eternal life with him.  You can be made right with God and have a personal relationship with him through Jesus.  But that’s not automatic.  He doesn’t force himself on anyone.  You have a choice to make.  John 1:12 says, “to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Have you believed in and accepted the risen Jesus as your savior?  If not and you want to, just pray and thank Jesus for what he’s done for you.  Tell him you believe that he is who he said and that you believe that he died and rose again.  Ask him to forgive you of your sins and tell him you want to have a personal relationship with him, getting to know the one who loves you more than any other.

If you do that sincerely you can be sure that you have eternal life.  1 John 5:13 says, “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.”  What’s more you can be sure that he will come into your life and help you to live for his glory out of thanks for what he’s done.

If you make that choice today please let me know.  Email me at mark@reasonsforhope315.com.

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Posted on by Reasons for Hope 315 in Claims and Acts of Jesus, Evidence for the Resurrection, Why Jesus Came

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