Author | Steve
What if it is true?
What if a guy named Jesus, died a cruel death on a Roman torture device, and then, three days later, got up and walked out of death back into life?
What if that really happened? Would it change anything?
I don’t know about you, but this political season in the United States, on top of the almost weekly images of terrorist attacks, beheadings, and yes, even crucifixions, makes it increasingly difficult to be optimistic. The world we live in is full of death and greed and blood lust and hatred and slavery. And I live in a place that just keeps spending money to try and make it all better.
But what if Jesus really walked out of that tomb? Would it have any power to change this reality in which we live?
Its interesting to note that the men and women who followed Jesus were changed dramatically. As Jesus was being arrested, illegally tried, beaten and then crucified, most of his closest followers abandoned Him, and none of them laid down their lives to stop the events of that day. After His alleged resurrection, these men and women were all hiding behind locked doors in Jerusalem afraid of the very people who accused Jesus and had him put to death.
But then, six weeks later, these same men and women become bold witnesses to Jesus being alive, even courageously standing in front of the same leaders who got Jesus crucified. Ultimately, every disciple of Jesus’ inner-circle of twelve, with the exception of John, would die for their public profession of Jesus being raised from the dead.
Jesus changed this small group of men and women. And that changed the world.
So, what if it is true?
If you have never investigated the story of Jesus, I’d invite you to check out a Christian church in your area this Friday and Sunday who are holding Good Friday and Easter Sunday worship services. Make a point to go to both Friday and Sunday. Friday is about Jesus’ death and the service is typically in the evening. Sunday is about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and is usually in the morning some time.
Don’t get too set off by the people or the traditions. Don’t get too caught up in the clothing or the music or the architecture. Just go and investigate the story of Jesus that has persisted some 2000 years. While you are there, ask if you can take a Bible home with you. Then, read one of four different accounts of Jesus’ life in the books titled Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Matthew, Mark and John all knew Jesus personally. Luke, a doctor in his day, investigated the claims about Jesus thoroughly and then wrote about them to a man named Theophilus. As you read, find someone to ask questions about what you read – maybe someone from the church you visited.
Here’s the thing: if Jesus really did walk out of that tomb, I think its worth noting who He was and what He said. It just might be important! In all of the political double-speak of today, in all of the grand-standing, in all of the sarcasm, in all of the hatred and invective, hear what Jesus says:
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” ~ Matthew 11:28
“Friend, your sins are forgiven.” ~ Luke 5:20b
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” ~ John 14:1-3
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” ~ John 15:13-14
What if its true? What if Jesus laid down his life because He is your friend? What if He has the power to take His life back up from the grave, and He still calls you “friend?” What if His command to you is simply to trust Him and believe what He has done, and is doing for you? What would life look like then?