For life to make sense it must have a beginning and an ending. The aging process leaves us feeling vulnerable. Life becomes more challenging as we grow older and slower. Our bodies do not function as well as they once did.
“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1) As we age, we come face to face with a greater need for security. If there is no life beyond the grave, as the atheist says, then life becomes redefined as “what makes me happy.” But how many happy older people do you know?
Wonder fades as we experience the breakdown of our bodies. Truth shouts louder and louder that our earthly existence is coming to an end, and love becomes a fleeting pleasure. Where then, can we find the security that will enable us to regain the wonder, know the truth, and enjoy the love?
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.” (John 14:6)
All major religions believe in an afterlife, but none but Christianity has provided the historical substantiation of it. The Christian faith is built around the resurrection. “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty, and your faith is empty. Yes, we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up – if indeed the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ does not rise, and if Christ has not risen, your faith is futile; and you are still in your sins.” (I Corinthians 15:14-17)
Everyone lives their life by what they believe. Show me your actions, and I will show you what you believe. Actions speak louder than words.
Jesus realized the greatest temptation His disciples would face after His crucifixion would be doubting His resurrection and strengthened them with His words, “You believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1) The apostle Peter said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:3)
Jesus realized the big question would be, “Is He really alive?” and encouraged them. “These things have I spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Luke testified that Jesus “presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs.” (Acts 1:3) Jesus knew His disciples would not be willing to die for a dead man.
First, we have the proof He truly was dead. His executioners were professional soldiers. Then, there was the evidence of the empty tomb. Both the Jewish and Roman authorities were convinced Jesus was dead. No one had a greater interest in proving Jesus was dead than the Jewish priests and the Roman governor. All they needed to stop the story of His resurrection was to produce the dead body of the Messiah.
Scholars who studied the Jewish Messiah tell us over 300 prophecies from the Old Testament prophets were fulfilled in the life of Christ. Jesus, Himself prophesied His death and resurrection. While it is true that we do not live by prophecy, prophetic promises prove God’s active intervention in the affairs of men. They are excellent evidence of God’s existence.
The greatest proof of Jesus’ resurrection was the transformation in the lives of His disciples. They were transformed from being fearful disciples into fearless apostles of the “good news.” Almost every early apostle of Jesus died for his faith. Men do not willingly die for things they know are not true. The testimony of dying saints is one of the greatest assurances of eternal life. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15)