Q: A friend took me to church this Easter, and I found it all very fascinating (I’m not religious). Do you Christians really believe that Jesus was dead and then came back to life? I admit I find that kind of hard to swallow. — S.E.
A: I’m thankful that your friend wanted to take you to an Easter service and that you found it fascinating. My prayer is that this will become the first step in your journey to a new and living faith.
Yes, Christians believe what the Bible writers carefully recorded: Jesus Christ was put to death at the command of the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, and afterward his body was placed in a stone, cave-like tomb. At Pilate’s instruction the tomb was sealed and placed under guard, but early on the third day after Jesus’ death, the tomb was empty, the frightened soldiers had fled, and an angel announced that Jesus had been raised from the dead.
Did this actually happen? Yes, and the proof is that during the next 40 days Jesus appeared repeatedly to various people, including more than 500 on one occasion (see 1 Corinthians 15:3-7). Only God could have done this — and he did!
Why is this important? For one thing, it confirms who Jesus was: God’s only Son, sent from heaven to save us from our sins. But the resurrection also tells us that death and hell have been defeated, and God has provided the way for us to be cleansed of our sins and given the gift of eternal life. God loves you that much! Why not ask Christ to come into your life today? The Bible says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or visit www.billygraham.org.