He is Risen!

Up from the grave He arose! He arose a Victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!” We sing that song with such exuberance! Yet, how many of us have ever actually considered just how shocking those words really are and certainly would have been to the people who heard them for the first time. Imagine the talk on the streets in first century Jerusalem. A man, a very dead man (one whom many had witnessed being brutally executed a few days earlier) had come back from the dead! Imagine hearing the words, “He arose!” for the very first time. Folks, that’s something that doesn’t happen everyday. In fact, it had never happened before. What a shock!

In order to help us capture the magnitude of this news, imagine, if you will, a similar, shocking scenario. On November 22, 1963, news of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy had spread almost instantly around the world. Americans, all over the country, just stopped whatever they were doing and froze, in silence, shocked at the news. No one could believe it and for the next several days, everyone was consumed with the news; the President was dead. Isn’t that the same scenario we see in Jerusalem some 2000 years ago? News of a shocking death traveling around the various social circles.

Now, imagine that three days later, John F. Kennedy was reported to be alive! He had been seen by many people and was walking about and talking with his friends and family! What would be more shocking to you? The news of his assassination, or the news of his resurrection? Now, perhaps, you see how incredible this news would have been to those first century witnesses.

The resurrection is the very foundation of Christianity. Our entire faith is based upon the fact that Jesus Christ arose from the grave. Consider the apostle Paul’s words, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain,” (1 Corinthians 15:14). Think of all the many religions of the world. If you study their history, you will find that every single one of them has a founder, one who had begun that particular faith. What separates Christians from all of those? The difference is all of their leaders are dead and buried somewhere, yes every one of them; you can even go and visit some of their resting places – except one, Jesus Christ. There is no grave, tomb, mausoleum, cenotaph, or sepulcher that contains the bones of our Lord and Savior. He is the ONLY one that has risen from the dead and continues to live! Is that not simply incredible? He arose! No other religion in the world makes such a bold claim, nor can they!