1 Corinthians 15:58
The incredible Easter miracle, the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, is either the greatest fact of history or it is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated. Our belief in the resurrection is at the very heart of our Christian faith. It is the resurrection that interprets the cross. It transforms what initially appeared to be an irreversible tragedy into a brilliant triumph, the power of God unto salvation.
Unbelievers and opponents have through the centuries attempted to discredit the truth of the resurrection. Of all the theories introduced to disprove it there is none further from the truth than that suggesting it was a hoax perpetrated by the disciples and followers of Jesus. That overlooks one indisputable fact. The followers of Jesus were themselves amazed and astounded by the resurrection, and had to be persuaded that it was true.
Mary Magdalene came first to the tomb. She approached the tomb with concern for a proper burial. She was horrified to find an open tomb. According to the scriptural account, Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. Jesus appeared. Mary did not recognize that the One who spoke to her was Jesus, until He intoned her name. When our name is uttered by the one we love, the source can never be mistaken. When Jesus said, “Mary,” she immediately knew it was Jesus. Tears of sorrow changed to tears of joy. All doubts were dispatched and belief in the resurrection instantly infused.
As the disciples met at night behind locked doors, Jesus, no longer bound by earthly limitations, came and stood in their midst. All is changed when Jesus comes. As soon as the disciples saw Jesus they rejoiced and believed. Thomas, absent that night, eight days later came to the inescapable belief when Jesus honored his presumptuous request to see the nail prints in His hand and to put his hand into His side.
The evidence is irrefutable. The overwhelming truth of the resurrection is that it was not planned by men, it was of God. The further resurrection miracle was that out of disillusioned, despondent, defeated and divided disciples was fashioned a force that turned the first century world upside down, that established a church so strong it has endured two thousand years and is a growing, dynamic influence in the world today.
With resurrection faith, we too determine to be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as we know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV).
James Osborne, The War Cry