Christ’s resurrection tells us we need not fear death

04/19/2014 7:12 PM

04/19/2014 7:12 PM

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Was Jesus really dead when they took him down from the cross? I have a hard time believing that because everyone knows that dead people just don’t come back to life — which is what you Christians claim Jesus did, don’t you? — C.T.

DEAR C.T.:

Beyond doubt, Jesus was dead when his body was taken down from the cross; the Roman soldiers who’d nailed him to the cross made certain of it. Remember, too, that his body was then placed in a cave-like tomb, which was sealed with a stone weighing hundreds of pounds.

And yet, on the third day after his death, Christ was alive, appearing not only to the women who first came to the tomb to anoint his body, but to the disciples who’d gathered behind closed doors. During the next 40 days he appeared repeatedly to others.

Decades later, Paul wrote that Jesus “appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living” (1 Corinthians 15:6).

Only one explanation covers all the facts: Jesus rose from the dead by the power of God. The people of Jesus’ day knew that death was final, just as much as we do. And yet the evidence was overwhelming: Jesus was alive! Only God could make it happen — and he did.

Why is Jesus’ resurrection important? It tells us we don’t need to fear death if we know Christ, for sin and death and hell have been conquered. It tells us also that this life is not all; ahead of us is eternity, either with God in heaven or separated from him forever in that place of total despair the Bible calls hell. Put your faith in Jesus Christ today — for he is alive forevermore!

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