A number of years ago I was in a home where everyone was in deep sorrow. Several women were chanting; every moment or two they would trail off into loud cries and sobs. The sorrow and hopelessness were truly heart rending. Seven relatives had been killed in a car accident in their home land.
The incident made me consider the contrast in the manner the Christian faces death. The resurrection of Christ has made the difference! If He arose, then His teachings and work are confirmed. The approval of God demonstrated by such a supernatural act of power also shows that we have a living Savior in whom we can confidently trust.
Although the Lord said that He would rise again, the disciples did not expect His resurrection. John was the only one to believe without first seeing Jesus alive for himself. When John saw the linen clothes lying in the empty tomb and the cloth for the Lord’s head wrapped separately, he believed (John 20:8). It must have been evident to him that anyone stealing a body, whether disciple or enemy, would not have any purpose in leaving the clothes behind, especially in such an orderly fashion.
The two on the Emmaus Road were sorrowful. They saw the Lord and joyfully returned to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples. The disciples did not believe their report but had to see Him themselves (Mark 16:13). Soon after, the ten disciples saw the Lord alive with their own eyes. We can mark the change in their once fearful behavior. They testified that they were eye witnesses of His resurrection, whether beaten, imprisoned or put to death for it. It took complete confidence for Peter to tell the crowd on the day of Pentecost that they had killed their own long awaited Messiah. Peter did this in Jerusalem where his claims of a risen Messiah would have been disputed.
Thomas refused to believe the combined testimony of the other ten disciples. A week later he had the opportunity to see the Lord Jesus for himself. Looking at the wounds in His hands and side he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”
What is the significance of this to you and to me? It means that we have a Savior who is alive and that God is satisfied with the work that He did at the cross. Since sin was charged to Him, He could not have been raised from the dead had those sins not been put away. Everything necessary for our forgiveness has been completed. No one can work for it or ever deserve it.
It is not God’s purpose that you merely believe that certain teachings or facts are true. The Lord Jesus is alive, so you can trust Him for your forgiveness, to live with you and to take you home to heaven. Why face life and eternity in fear when Jesus died and rose again to save you? “He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:9-13).