April 12 I Sunday
1 Samuel 19-21
“…but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen!’”
Why would the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ be the greatest event in human history? If we were to go to Medina, Saudi Arabia, we would find the tomb of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. If we went to Qufu in China’s Shandong province, we would find the tomb of Confucius, the philosopher who founded Confucianism; his body laid there for two and a half thousand years. Although the first Buddha was cremated about 2,400 years ago, if we went to Sri Lanka, we would find his left upper canine tooth that has become a relic and preserved there. Hinduism traces its history back about 4,000 years and even though its founders are unknown, any remains that belong to them have long returned to dust. Even Jewish patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were buried and their remains are in Hebron, Israel. When Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard, died in 1986, his body was cremated and his ashes scattered over the Pacific Ocean.
If we were to go to Jerusalem, we would find two claims to the tomb of Jesus. One has a big church over it and the other is in a garden, known as the “Garden Tomb.” Why such ambiguity? Because the early Christians could not care less where the tomb of Jesus was. They never went there, because on the third day, it was empty.
What is the significance of this? The events that took place that weekend––Jesus’s death and resurrection––are crucial events in which Christianity stands or falls. Paul tells us, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith….And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:14,17). If Christ had not been raised from the dead, there would be no Christianity.
In his book Jesus: Dead or Alive?, John Blanchard writes, “If Jesus is now no more than a handful of dust and bones slowly crumbling away somewhere on the outskirts of Jerusalem, the entire Christian faith lies buried with Him; all its martyrs were mistaken, all its reformers were deluded, all its church buildings are monuments to a myth, all its services are senseless and Easter Day is a sick joke. What is more, the millions of people who claim that He is a living Saviour who is transforming their lives are living in cloud cuckoo land.”
The very fact that Jesus resurrected from the dead and is alive today is the greatest event in human history. May the good news of Jesus gives us a greater hope and a deeper sense of peace.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I have found hope and peace in this world because You are not buried in a grave somewhere but You are alive. The fact that the tomb is empty brings me great joy. Thank You, Lord.