2 Peter 1:16 – We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye-witnesses of his majesty. (NIV)
Acts 2:32 – God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. (NIV)
Like many teenagers back in the seventies, I enjoyed seeing the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Later, however, I heard that many Christians considered the film to be offensive. One reason for this criticism was the omission of the resurrection of Jesus Christ — which is the very core of Christianity. Although I did not have a true personal knowledge of the Lord at the time, this controversy made me contemplate the significance of the resurrection as being essential to the Christian faith.
I considered the conviction of Luke: "After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive." (Acts 1:3 NIV) I then realized that it is the resurrection of Christ which sets Christianity apart from all other world religions. Without it, our faith is meaningless. The apostle Paul writes, "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." (1 Corinthians 15:14 NIV) Despite the enemies' efforts to discredit the gospel, the disciples of Jesus were reliable eyewitnesses to this event, and they carefully documented the evidence for our examination.
The resurrection is the reason for the church's existence today. Our faith is built upon the solid foundation of the apostles and prophets who were witnesses of God's amazing truth. It is through their testimony that we have become believers today. At the Last Supper, Jesus entreated His Father, "I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message." (John 17:20 NIV) The disciples were transformed into bold preachers of the gospel, risking their lives and eventually suffering death on account of their faith.
Unfortunately, Jesus Christ Superstar did not accurately portray the Son of the living God, who is much more than a superstar. I am so grateful today to God that through His grace many years ago, Jesus revealed Himself to me. The power and presence of the risen Lord is my life and my salvation.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for the powerful witness of Your Word that has been given to us through Your servants, the prophets and the apostles. Renew in us the power of Your resurrection that we may also become effective witnesses for the gospel of life. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.