He Is Risen!

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Did the Resurrection Really Happen?

Did Jesus really die and rise from the dead? Some say there is no evidence for the Christian faith, but actually, from a historical perspective, the resurrection of Jesus is probably the most well-documented fact in antiquity. People have tried to dispute it numerous ways—Jesus wasn’t really dead, the disciples went to the wrong tomb, or the disciples stole His body. However, none of the theories that try to disprove the resurrection hold water. Ultimately it is indisputable that the disciples (and hundreds of others) believed they had personally seen, touched, ate with, walked with, and talked with the resurrected Jesus. They died for this testimony, and who would die for a lie?

Perhaps you would answer that many have died throughout history for things that were not true. However, there is one very important difference between the disciples and other martyrs. The disciples did not just believe Jesus rose from the dead; they claimed to actually be eyewitnesses of His resurrection. In other words, the resurrection wasn’t just something they believed to be true; it was something they knew for a fact as true. That means if they were lying, they knew they were lying—and they all died for a lie they knew was a lie. Highly unlikely! Not one of them changed his story when faced with the gallows or the sword. They all gladly testified with their blood to the reality that Jesus had risen from the dead.

The courage the disciples displayed in the face of death was not only remarkable; it was especially unusual given everything we know about them from Scripture. They totally dropped the ball when Jesus was crucified. One betrayed Him, another denied Him, and the rest ran for their lives. They weren’t courageous and bold; they were weak-willed cowards. But then, something radically changed them. Something transformed them into bold witnesses, proclaiming the gospel everywhere. What changed them was being with the resurrected Christ—they talked with Him, walked with Him, touched Him, and even ate with Him for weeks after He rose from the dead!

The disciples lost everything because of their witness of the resurrection of Christ, and they stood to gain nothing in this world by it. If Christ didn’t rise from the dead, all the disciples died terrible deaths to perpetuate a hoax. Do you really believe that happened? Not a chance.