There is simply no way to overemphasize the importance of the resurrection to the Christian faith, for the resurrection of Jesus is the Christian faith. Christianity stands or falls on the validity, the historical reality of the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus is either the greatest event in the history of mankind, or it is the cruelest hoax that has ever been perpetrated. Which is it, truth or fantasy?
Transformed Lives Personify It
I will hasten to say that the greatest evidence of the resurrection of Jesus is not the empty tomb. It is something else. The greatest evidence of the resurrection in Scripture is to be seen in the transformed lives of Jesus' disciples. For within 50 days of His crucifixion, His disciples had been miraculously transformed from a defeated, frustrated, hopeless group of individuals into a confident band of Christian soldiers determined to win the world for their Lord.
Jesus' own brother James is a good example of what Dave is talking about. James did not believe in Jesus while He was alive. Yet after the resurrection, James became the leader of the Church in Jerusalem. Or consider Peter, who denied Jesus three times in a fit of cowardice. He began to proclaim boldly, Jesus Christ the Lord, even before the very Sanhedrin council that had condemned Jesus to death. And then there was a young Christian by the name of Stephen who was stoned to death because of his witness of Jesus. And let's not forget the most ruthless persecutor of the church, Saul of Tarsus. He became the greatest missionary in the history of the Church, all because he encountered the risen Lord on the road to Damascus.
And for what I consider to be the most convincing evidence of all, I have in mind the way in which peoples lives continue to be transformed today through their encounter with the living Jesus.
What about you? Have you met Jesus? Have you been born again by placing your faith in Him? Are you ready to face death without fear because you know you will spend eternity with God?
Salvation is to be found in a personal relationship with a living Savior. Jesus said that eternal life is knowing Him. You know, when one of Jesus' disciples named Thomas finally encountered Him after the resurrection, he cried out, "My Lord and my God." Jesus replied, "Because you have seen me you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." I challenge you to believe in the risen Jesus. John 20:31 says that through belief in Jesus, you may have life in His name.