Is the Gospel Alive?

Pastor Matt Miles

Easter Sunday is right around the corner! This brings a question: did Jesus really rise from the grave? Interestingly, the resurrection of Jesus Christ has been a debated topic from the very beginning, and many have introduced theories to try to explain away this phenomenon. One of the theories that has been around since the resurrection is “the disciples stole the body.” In Matthew 28:11-13, the Jewish leaders listened to the guards’ accounts of what transpired and decided on a remedy that required bribery and an explanation. Essentially, the disciples stole the body while the guards were sleeping.

The first issue is how could the guards have known what the disciples did if they were sleeping? The second issue is that Matthew 28:2 and Mark 16:4 mention that a large stone was covering the entrance to the tomb. This large stone would have taken many hands to move and would have made enough noise to wake sleeping guards. Another issue would be why were the grave clothes left behind by the disciples? Not just left behind but the napkin that had been on Jesus’ head was folded and neatly left according to John 20:7.

The final issue is this: why would the disciples give their lives for a lie? These disciples were dejected and hiding in a room fearing they were next but after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension these men boldly stood before the Sanhedrin in Acts 4, propagated the gospel throughout the world, and most died a martyr’s death. Even staunch critics such as James (the half-brother of Jesus) and Saul (the Christian persecutor) dedicated their lives to Christ after His resurrection and died for Him. Why would these Christians and critics die for His cause?

The resurrection of Christ was a literal, life changing event in history! 1 Peter 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Through Jesus Christ’s resurrection the gospel is alive!

Hillcrest Baptist Church meets Sundays at 10:30 a.m. at Vandermolen Elementary located at 6744 Carnelian St. Mira Loma, CA 91752 and they can be reached at (951)357-6737.