A friend once asked me an important question: ‘What difference does the death of one man who lived two millennia ago make to me?’
Well, perhaps not that much if Jesus was just another political criminal disposed of by a tyrannical empire. Plenty of people were crucified in the 1st Century, and many of them unjustly.
And perhaps not that much if He was just a beloved Jewish teacher – many good teachers and philosophers have come and gone. We learn from them and move on. And not even that much if He performed some miracles – they may have been wonderful for those who benefitted, but unexplained events happen all the time.
So Jesus may have been a good man – an influential man, but still a man who died – just like we all do.
But there’s the catch. If Jesus had stayed dead, it wouldn’t make much difference to us 2,000 years later. It’s the news that He rose again that changes everything. Death is the one irrevocable thing we all face, and the one thing none of us can conquer. Jesus showed us who He was by overcoming it. And that makes all the difference.