There are two truths that every person needs to know about Jesus Christ: 1) He was raised from the dead; and 2) He is now the reigning Lord of the universe. Once a person truly believes these two truths, his life will never be the same. I pray that your life will be revolutionized as you read this article and embrace these truths.
Let's begin with the resurrection of Christ. When considering the resurrection, the first fact we must reckon with is the empty tomb. Almost everyone who has examined this subject agrees that Christ's tomb had to have been empty three days after His crucifixion. If it wasn't, Jesus' opponents could have simply gone to the tomb and paraded His body through the streets of Jerusalem when the disciples began to proclaim His resurrection. Why would the Jews beat and kill the early Christians if they could silence them simply by supplying them with Christ's body? Furthermore, how could the apostles of Christ have made any converts in Jerusalem by preaching the resurrection of Christ, if their hearers could have simply paid a visit to the tomb and seen for themselves whether it was empty or not? Most skeptics of the Christian faith agree that Christ's tomb was empty, and thus have come up with a host of explanations for it.
One explanation for the empty tomb is the Swoon Theory. This view holds that Jesus only fainted on the cross, but revived later in the tomb. Proponents of this view state that the soldiers mistakenly thought Jesus was dead, when He had only fallen into a swoon. However, would Joseph and Nicodemus (disciples of Jesus) have gone through with the burial if there was the slightest chance He was still alive? Also, the centurion at the crucifixion scene declared Jesus was dead. He witnessed the execution of men daily. If anyone would know whether Jesus really died or not, it would have been him. Furthermore, a man is not revived by wrapping his body in 70-100 pounds of spices and then shutting him up in a tomb. The strong odor of spices in an airtight tomb would kill a sick person, whose brain was already seized with an unyielding swoon. Finally, if Jesus was not dead, that would mean that He appeared radiant to His disciples after not having His wounds dressed or having any food or drink for three days, moved a stone three women felt incapable of moving, fought off the Roman guards single-handedly, walked seven miles to Emmaeus on pierced feet, lived in hiding for forty days making only occasional appearances, and then lived out the rest of his life in complete solitude. The Swoon Theory just doesn't add up.
Another view has been called the Stolen Body Theory. This view holds that Christ's body was taken by either the Jewish leaders or the Christians. If the Jewish leaders did steal the body, why didn't they wheel it through the streets of Jerusalem when the Christians began to proclaim the resurrection? If the Christians stole the body, do we really believe they would spread the lie of His resurrection after following their Master who taught them to be truthful in all things? Do we really believe that a small band of timid and fearful disciples successfully overcame a trained Roman guard? Further, what motive did they have? If Jesus had died, His dead body could not profit them. Additionally, would they go on to die martyr's deaths for preaching a resurrection they knew had never taken place? Men will die for what they believe to be true, but not for what they know to be false. Deceivers and martyrs are not made of the same stuff.
Others hold to the Hallucination Theory. This theory states that Jesus' disciples experienced hallucinations that Christ was really risen, when in fact He was not. They state that often people who are sad and despondent (like Christ's disciples) are in just the right state of mind to hallucinate the very thing they want to believe is true. Yet again, if the disciples did experience hallucinations that Christ was risen, the Jewish leaders would merely have had to produce the body when the Christians preached the resurrection in order to stop their mouths. Yet, interestingly enough, that is the very thing they never did.
A final theory of the skeptics has been called the Wrong Tomb Theory. Advocates of this view hold that everyone went to the wrong tomb, and that is why they found it empty. Supposedly, if they had just gone to the right tomb, they would have found Jesus' body. This view overlooks some very pointed facts. First, Christ's body was laid in the tomb only three days earlier, and the women saw where He was laid.1 Would they forget in three days? Second, the angel said, "Here is the place where they laid Him."2 Did the angel make a mistake? Third, Peter and John ran to the same tomb. Were they both mistaken? And fourth, even if everyone went to the same tomb, surely Joseph, the owner of the tomb, would have solved the problem.
As you can see, each one of these so-called "solutions" for the empty tomb is shot through with problems. There is, however, another explanation. Jesus, on several occasions before His death, stated in unmistakable language that He would rise from the dead.3 Furthermore, He claimed that He was the divine Son of God.4 If Jesus was who He claimed to be (God in human flesh), then His prediction that He would rise from the dead, and the resultant empty tomb are exactly what we would expect. For those with faith, the mystery is solved.
What are the implications of Christ's resurrection? Peter, one of Christ's closest disciples, leaves us in no doubt when he declares, "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses...Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ - this Jesus whom you crucified."5 Forty days after Jesus had risen from the dead, He ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. From His position in the heavens as the Supreme Person and Power in the universe, He reigns as Lord.
What does it mean that Jesus is Lord? Simply put, it means that He is the One to whom you must submit. You and I owe Him our obedience, worship, and unswerving devotion. God isn't asking you to make Jesus your Lord; He is declaring that He already is! "Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."6 My friend, one day you and every other person who has ever lived on this planet will bow his knee and acknowledge that Jesus is the Lord. Sadly though, if you have not bowed your knee to Him in this life, your confession of Him as Lord then will not save you. Instead, He will cast you into eternal hell to be punished for your rebellion to His authority.
Perhaps by now you are wondering whether there is any hope for someone like you. That brings me to the Good News. Not only is Christ your rightful Lord, and not only has God proved it by raising Him from the dead, but this same Lord, after living a perfect life, voluntarily gave up His life upon a cross. There, on that Roman cross, Jesus bore the unimaginably holy fury of God against sin. In so doing, He became a substitutionary sacrifice which would put away the sin of all who would believe on Him.7
Now, today He calls upon you to lay down your weapons of rebellion against Him, and surrender your life to His lordship. He offers you forgiveness of sins and everlasting life as a free gift,8 but a gift which can only be received through repentance and faith.9 Imagine that you were cast overboard a ship in a great storm and were drowning at sea, clutching a bag of gold in each hand. When the sailors on board the ship toss a rope to you, you must make a choice. Either you must decide to drop the bags of gold and clutch the life rope and live, or hold onto the gold and drown. Repentance is turning loose of the gold of sin, while faith is clutching the life rope of Jesus Christ. Christ is offered to you freely. You don't have to try to clean up your life, or perform a certain amount of good deeds before you can receive salvation through Him. But you can't be saved from your sin unless you are willing to let go of it. Jesus will not become your Savior without also becoming your King.
The Bible declares that He is Lord, and that your eternal destiny will be determined by what you do with Him. Repent and trust Him today. "He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."10 If you would like a free Bible, or further information on becoming a follower of Jesus Christ, you may contact us below.