John 11:25-26 – Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (ESV)
Recently, my family went to see the movie "Risen", a film which uniquely depicts the resurrection through the point of view of an unbeliever. As in a detective story, Clavius, a high-ranking Roman official, is put in charge of solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus' body. The scene which struck me the most was the testimony of the witnesses who were being interrogated. It was evident that they had experienced something miraculous, something that would impact their lives forever.
The apostle Paul records that Jesus "appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time" (1 Corinthians 15:6a ESV). It seems inconceivable that so many people would have manufactured such a tale, at the risk of their own lives. If their story had not been true, it easily could have been refuted by simply producing the body of Jesus. However, the silence of those who opposed the Messiah, even while His disciples boldly proclaimed the good news, only confirmed the fact that death had no power over Him.
Yet the empty tomb is not just about an event that occurred over two thousand years ago. The same Spirit Who resurrected Jesus from the grave is still alive in believers today. One of my favourite Scriptures — the one that I shared at my baptism years ago — expresses the apostle Paul's desire:
Philippians 3:10 – I want to know the Messiah — what his resurrection power is like and what it means to share in his sufferings by becoming like him in his death. (ISV)
May that be our prayer as well: to experience the miraculous by dying to self, conforming to the Lord in our sufferings, and allowing Him to take charge of our hearts and minds. Then, unbelievers will see that the tomb is empty and that Christ is risen indeed, because it is evident that He is living in us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your great love in sending Your Son and for the power of His resurrection which is available to us, even now, while we yet live. May we nail our sins to the cross, bury our pride, and surrender to the abundant life that You have provided for us. This we ask in the name of our Saviour Who is the resurrection and the life. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Christ Arose" (Lyrics)