BULLETIN ARTICLE – 8 October 2017
JESUS HAS RISEN!
The testimonies of those who witnessed the resurrection of Jesus, these first apostles and other believers including Apostle Paul, help formed the fundamental tenet of our faith. Without the resurrection of Jesus there is no power in the death of Jesus. For people unfamiliar with the Christian faith, it is not easy to grasp the concept of resurrection from the dead. No other religion talk or emphasise resurrection. Why is resurrection important? Why are eye witnesses important?
Many religions have teachings of purity, morality, kindness, generosity and goodness. They teach that living a good life will ward off punishment and judgment in the afterlife and hopefully death ends in heaven and not hell. Many would say that because all religions have good teachings with basic tenets within the realm of human relations, therefore all religions will lead to God. It is presumed that all that is required of mankind is to do good and be kind to one another.
What is the difference between the Christian faith and the other religions? It is not about how good are the teachings of Jesus, it is not about the miracles He performed and it is not about the people He healed. It is about His death and His resurrection – He is victorious over death by His resurrection from the dead. It is this victory that, as Jesus’ followers, we also will possess. For it is written, “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians15:55). It is this victory that gives us the confidence to face death and we know that Jesus is ready to receive all His followers.
If anyone ask you, what is the difference between Christianity and other religions. Answer: “Resurrection of Jesus”. That is why it is important to know that there were eye witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection. All the apostles including Paul and more than 500 believers saw and experienced Jesus’ presence after His death. He appeared to them over a period of 40 days. He ate with them. He taught them about the kingdom of God – Acts 1.
It is much easier to believe someone when they say they have actually seen with their own eyes what happened. They were actually there themselves. And especially if they are people you personally know and trust to speak the truth, you would likely believe. So too, for the Corinthian Christians. Apostle Paul was someone they knew and respected. They believed when he spoke of his personal encounter with Jesus and the apostles who spent more than a month with the resurrected Jesus. The resurrected Jesus “lived” with the apostles – eating, drinking and teaching them; it was not mere imaginations. Jesus has risen from the dead – Praise the Lord!