This past Sunday we celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single most important event in human history. Because Jesus rose from the grave, everything changes. If he doesn’t rise, this is just a nice martyr story about a man who stood up against injustice. If the Resurrection is true, it should cause us all to have great joy. It means that all of the promises of God are true. God really does love us. He really is taking us to a better place, where all of this pain, suffering, sickness, and sorrow will be no more. As J.R.R. Tolkien once said: “he’ll make all the sad things come untrue.”
There are some however, who have their doubts. How do we know this is true? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Let’s look at some evidence. Matthew writes in chapter 28 that the first eye witnesses of the Resurrection were women. In those days a woman’s testimony was not considered credible. The words of a woman would not hold up in court. If Matthew were making all this up why would he have chosen women? He included these women because they really were the first to discover the empty tomb. Secondly, all of the disciples, including Matthew died a horrific death. Why would they have died for a known lie? How would it benefit their lives to suffer through poverty and persecution if Jesus didn’t really rise from the tomb? As Blaise Pascal eloquently put it: “I believe witnesses who are willing to have their throats cut.”
The Gospel of Matthew is a historically accurate account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. When we consider the evidence, we have to ask ourselves, how are we going to respond? Are we going to move toward Jesus in worship or away from Him in doubt and disbelief? Everyone has doubts from time to time. There are some hard questions that we don’t have the answers to. Why is there still sickness and suffering in our world? Why do innocent people suffer in poverty and injustice? Why is there so much evil and hate? In spite of these questions the choice to believe still rests with us. We can let our doubts drive us to unbelief, or we can use our faith in the Resurrection as a weapon against our doubts. You can confidently proclaim there is an answer out there somewhere and one day we’ll understand it. Someone once said faith is when the unexplainable meets the undeniable. The Resurrection of Jesus is the undeniable.
Jesus willingly took our place. He was accused for us. He was punished for us. He was forsaken for us. He was betrayed by us. Now he wants to be alive in us and work through us. He didn’t just die for you, He died instead of you. The choice to receive that is up to you.