A few weeks ago, I shared that the foundation of the Christian faith is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Easter Sunday is the day that Christians around the world celebrate this important and remarkable event.
For many people it just seems impossible. Why would anyone believe that a dead person could come back to life three days after his public execution and death?
But, the Bible is very clear and specific. Numerous biblical authors provide specific details that describe Jesus’ resurrection.
For me, the most convincing evidence is the testimony of the eyewitnesses who claim to have seen Jesus alive after his public execution. They claim to have seen and talked with him. They claim that he ate food and drank in front of their eyes. They touched him and spent time with him.
You can read many of the details in New Testament books like Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the book of Acts. The Apostle Paul provides a list of specific times when people saw Jesus alive (First Corinthians 15). Both Peter and John refer to eyewitness accounts in their letters near the end of the New Testament.
These authors claim to have personally seen Jesus alive after his crucifixion and burial. When they were warned by local authorities not to speak about Jesus’ resurrection, Peter and John said that they could not stop speaking about what they had personally seen and heard (Acts 5). They were convinced that Jesus was alive. They wrote down what they saw and boldly told others what they had seen and heard.
Shortly after my wife and I bought our first new car, we went to dinner with some friends to a new restaurant in Claremont.
Parking was scarce, but we found an empty spot and carefully parked parallel to the curb. After dinner, we walked back to our car and started for home. My friend saw a piece of paper on the wind shield. It looked like a parking ticket.
However, after we pulled over, my friend got out and retrieved the paper that was under the wind shield wiper. It wasn’t a ticket at all. It was a hand written note that informed us that my new car had been hit and damaged by a Foothill transit bus! A worker in a local bike shop had heard the crash and ran out of his shop to see what had happened. He wrote down the name and license plate number of the bus and left a note on my car window.
We called the police and they investigated the matter. They were able to confirm that the back bumper of the bus hit the front finder of my car. There were scratches on the bus and extensive damage to my car. We had not noticed the damage because it was so dark.
We would have never known what had happened to my new car on that dark winter night if the bicycle repairman had not seen the accident and left a written note on my wind shield. This eyewitness was the key to solving this mystery. If someone had not seen it and written down the name and license number, we would probably never know what had really happened.
I am convinced that Jesus literally rose from the dead because many eyewitnesses saw him alive after his death on the cross. Individuals saw him. Small groups of people saw him. At one time over 500 people saw Jesus alive at the same time. All of them were convinced that he really was alive. He wasn’t just a ghostly image or a shadowy figure. He was real, physical and tangible. They talked with him, ate with him and literally touched him after he rose from the dead.
This may seem impossible to many people, but I believe it is true. I hope you will dust off your Bible and carefully read the final chapters in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Read the testimonies and personal accounts in the book of Acts. Examine the evidence for yourself.
I hope you will attend a church near you on Easter Sunday, April 1st. Come and celebrate the most important event in history – the resurrection of Jesus. I believe you will be glad you did! Happy Easter!
Pastor Mark Hopper
Efree Church of Diamond Bar
3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd
Easter Sunday Services: 8:30 / 10:00 / 11:30 AM