Actually that Friday was one of great mourning for the first Jesus-followers. Then came Easter Sunday. We now can look back on that weekend in Jerusalem 2000 years ago with a broader perspective. Actually, everyone should. ◊
Even while a woefully secular culture tries to neutralize Easter, we know their effort is ultimately in vain.
Truth always prevails.
And Christianity is wrapped in undeniable truth that can never be shut down. In fact, history proves that increased neutering and persecution doesn’t work as it actually causes growth.
We know that from reading the Book of Acts and seeing the burgeoning growth of the Christian church starting immediately after the brutal death and witnessed resurrection of Jesus the Christ.
Over time the Roman Empire was never the same again.
In the United States and countries around the world, we see the same impact over the centuries. Like the Hebrews in the Old Testament, we’re reflective of a nation that so infiltrated itself with surrounding pagan culture that it watered down its identity, faith and knowledge of God.
Yet the truth about Jesus as God living, dying, rising, and coming again as God in Spirit infusing His people – Jews and Gentiles, all the peoples, all the nations – never is fully squelched.
Squelched, yes. But never obliterated. In fact, Christianity continues to flourish.
Just Another Easter Week?
Easter week culminates with Good Friday, the afternoon Christ was crucified, and His resurrection on Sunday. This weekend the Easter story from the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John will be recited from pulpits around the world.
While the world recoils over war and our capacity for brutality, cruelty, disrespect, and violence against fellow humans, we must acknowledge the lip service paid to life, family, goodness, fairness, spirituality, tolerance, freedom, equity, and love by an unfettered anti-Christian national media and public administration that ignores the source and act of ultimate love, Christ Himself.
And so even Easter can be taken in casual stride while unfortunate and blinded skeptics continue to doubt or question the validity of it all without ample due-diligence.
Early Christian Creed Proves Easter
Christians indeed can stand in confidence with a truth that cannot be refuted and will never die. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-6 there is a profound statement or creed by the apostle Paul transmitting recent oral history. Through his use of unusual words and phrasing for him, scholars view this as evidence that Paul is passing along information already accurately codified and well-defined in 4 parts:
- Christ was crucified – that he died definitively through crucifixion is no longer disputed by scholars and skeptics alike.
- Christ was buried – Joseph of Arimathea, a known and honorable man, is named in all four gospel accounts as the one who claimed the body and supplied the tomb.
- Christ was resurrected – the tomb by all accounts was empty; extensive analyses of all possible scenarios (stolen, wrong tomb, dogs, etc.) have been conducted and documented – even skeptics and atheists cannot honestly account for the missing body.
- Christ was seen – the clincher: not only Peter and the apostles interacted with a risen Christ, but over 500 people saw Him before He ascended, many who were still alive to testify to this reality.
Yes, there are very ample reasons why Christianity grew and changed the world. From a startup team of a small band of disciples who witnessed a spectacular miracle consistent with Biblical scripture and prophecy, these devotees went to their death testifying not to what they merely believed, but to what they knew because of what they saw.
Truth trumps all things. Many zealots have died for wrong beliefs; no zealots would die for a known lie. The proven Easter resurrection started the revolution that changed the Roman Empire and ultimately the whole world.
It was significant then and it is significant today. We all have to confront that very special Friday through Sunday weekend long ago.
Confidently believe and celebrate Good Friday and Easter.
Happy Good Friday and Happy Easter!
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have in His name. – John 20:30-31