One has to wonder if something really happened 2000 years ago as to why we continue to celebrate Easter. It is often the one day of the year people who don’t normally go to church attend. I am not advocating people start going to church. I am just wondering if it may make a difference in your life if you become convinced Jesus really did come back from the dead. Wouldn’t that validate Jesus’ claim to be God and His message that God is dying to have a relationship with you.
If someone today proclaimed they would resurrect from the dead after three days and fulfilled their promise, we might listen than declare them a lunatic. It takes just as much faith to believe the Romans, who were aware of Jesus’ claims (in fact Herod was so concerned about a predicted Messiah that he had firstborns killed), would leave the tomb unguarded so Jesus’ followers could then take His body away and claim Jesus had risen from the dead. The tomb was guarded because of Jesus’ prediction (Mt 27:62-66). Secondly, the Bible recorded Jesus was seen after His death by over 500 witnesses, most of who were living (I Cor. 15:3-8). What writer who claims to represent God records the resurrection as a fact with people alive who can dispute.
Finally, the most compelling historical evidence is that over the next fifty years after Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus’ disciples were willing to be beaten, persecuted, and suffer a martyr’s death without renouncing their conviction that they has seen Jesus’ bodily resurrection. C’mon! Some people will give their life for what they believe may be true, but no one gives their life for what they know is a lie. Christianity relies on an event that has already happened, while many faiths rely on a promise for the future that may or may not be true.
God wanted to come in the flesh through Jesus, but the Creator was not like other OT gods who demanded the sacrifice of children for their own ego. Jesus didn’t die to appease God’s anger and honor so God could then love us and forgive us. Jesus forgave people before His death. The Cross was not meant to change God’s attitude but our attitude toward God. Jesus walked in our shoes, even facing undeserved suffering, to gain credibility and influence. God went to great means to convince us of His unimaginable love. Jesus’ by example sought to influence us to avoid paths of destruction that lead to regrets. Few may die for a good person. Jesus died to convince all of God’s unconditional love for them. What kind of Creator does this!
Maybe Jesus really was God if He resurrected from the dead. Forgive pushy followers who don’t wait for an invitation to share their excitement of a relationship with their Creator. You may wonder why we followers act so badly sometimes if we believe the way we do. Imagine what we would be like if we didn’t know God. Saving one’s life for Jesus was not giving a get-out-of-hell free card. Jesus simply wished to convince us that selfishness leads to regrets and destruction. Jesus by example attempted to encourage us to love others as we wish to be loved as this leads to true freedom. The Gospel simply is that God loves you unconditionally and seeks to help you listen to your heart for a better life and world. A close relationship with my Creator has helped me be a better man, husband, father, and friend.