The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day were both right and wrong in their response to the idea that Christ might rise from the dead. They knew that a false report to that effect could be tragic. It is always dangerous, if not tragic, to be deceived by religious teachers that teach things contrary to the inspired Word of God.
These leaders of Jesus’ day viewed Jesus as a deceiver. But they were wrong in thinking that His disciples might try to steal his body from the grave and claim He had risen. Such an idea was preposterous. His followers were too devastated by His death to try such a thing.
The fact is that Jesus Christ did rise from the grave, to the dismay of His foes and the amazement of His own disciples. And this event was recorded by eyewitnesses, not by later writers as has been claimed. Scholars, throughout the years keep finding new evidence to prove that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James and Jude did in fact write the books ascribed to them.
Furthermore, the message of the resurrection moved hundreds of thousands of first-century people to become followers of Jesus Christ and to be known simply as Christians. And today, more than 2,000 years later, multitudes still believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised by the glory of the Father, on the third day just as was promised by the Lord himself.
Yes, a false claim that Jesus rose from the grave could have done great harm. But the fact that He did come forth from the grave is proof positive that He conquered death and has set in force the greatest movement in human history. Let us rejoice in Paul’s affirmation, “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:20 NKJV)
Before His death, Jesus was surrounded by many of his followers and He told them that He would soon be leaving and going back to be with His Father. And as He looked out over the crowd He could see their sad faces and feel their broken hearts.
You see they were still looking for an earthly kingdom and they couldn’t understand why He had to leave. They would later understand that the kingdom Jesus established was a spiritual kingdom. As He looked out at them he made them a promise; He said, “Let not your hearts be troubled, yea believe in God, believe also in me, for in my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am there you may be also.”
My friends, that promise was not only for those in attendance that day but it is for all those, past and present that are true “Children of God.”
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