The Apostle Paul declared that the entire structure of the Christian faith rests upon the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Referring to Jesus, Luke wrote in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles,
“He showed himself alive!” (Acts 1:3 ASV). These words are the key to the amazing events which Luke describes. Indeed, were it not for the appearance of the risen Lord, there would have been no “Acts of the Apostles” to describe.
“He showed Himself alive.” To whom? To those who saw Him die. It was imperative that those who saw Him die should also see Him alive again. He had not been a brave but deluded fanatic dying vainly for a lost cause. He had not died as a political pawn or a condemned criminal. He had died as the divine agent in God’s supreme act of love.
And “He showed Himself alive” to those whose hopes were dead. We cannot fully understand the disappointment and dejection and despair of the followers of Jesus in those days after Calvary. We catch some of their hopelessness in the sad faces and despondent tones of the two who spoke with the “stranger” on the Emmaus road that first Easter Sunday afternoon. “We had hoped,” they said, “that He was the One who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). “We had hoped!” The inference was plain. They spoke of hope as being something in the past.
But they didn’t remain that way. Read in that twenty-fourth chapter of Luke the joyous record of “burning hearts” and running feet and jubilant witnesses. And all because “He showed Himself alive” to those whose hopes were dead. There is no other way to explain the transformation of the grieving into the joyful, the doubting into the confident, the frightened into the bold. “He showed himself alive,” and the invigorated, invincible disciples became one of the leading proofs of His resurrection power.
And here is the final truth for you and me: “He showed Himself alive” to those who were dead in sin. To the Corinthian church, Paul wrote, “He appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born” (1 Corinthians 15:8). Even those who did not actually see the risen Lord were beneficiaries of His appearing.
“Christ is risen! Hallelujah” Believe in the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus. Believe in the spiritual fact of the risen Christ, who will “show Himself alive” to you. Accept not alone the evidence of the empty tomb. Accept the irrefutable and incomparable evidence of the indwelling Christ.
Bramwell Tripp, To the Point