Jesus resurrection to the Apostles was real and it was one of their powerful testimonies. On the day of Pentecost, it was a major reference point in Peter’s sermon. For the Apostles, the resurrection of Jesus was something they were ready to suffer and die for than denying it. Against all odds, the Apostles testified to the power that raised Jesus from the grave.
Before Pilate could release the body of Jesus for burial, he was certain that He died (Mark 1:44-45). Every effort was made to secure the tomb, to prevent Jesus’ disciple from coming “by night and steal Him away, and say unto people, He is risen from the dead” (Matt. 27:64). Alas, God could not be stopped! Jesus rose from the grave.
Apostles’ utterances after the resurrection were bold, courageous and undaunted. Listen to Peter’s testimony, “Men of Israel . . . (Acts 2: 22-24, 32).
Indirectly, the Apostles were confronting and challenging the authority to dispute their claims. The authorities dare not. The incident was still fresh and it was the talk of the town. Instead, the authorities warned them not to continue sharing their testimonies. For the Apostles, what they were seeing God doing was Good news and they could not keep it to themselves; they could not be bought by money or threatened by sword or imprisonment. It was like fire in their bones. The only way they could have peace of mind was to keep narrating the resurrection story.
Paul succinctly answered the question, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile: you are still in your sin. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (1Corin 15: 17-19). But because Jesus died on the cross and rose again:
You become a child of God (John 1:12, Roman 8:15).
You receive eternal life (John 5:24).
You are delivered from Satan’s kingdom to God’s kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13).
Christ comes to dwell in you (Revelation 3:20).
You become a new creation (2 Corin. 5:17)
You are declared righteous by God (2 Corin 5:21).
You enter a love relationship with God ( 1 John 4:9-11)
God accepts you ( Colossians 1:19-22)
In the past and even today, the resurrection story of Jesus has been what some have been killed for as a result of their conviction. It is making many to leave their comfort zones for places of hardship. As an individual what will be your own story? What are you doing to spread the gospel?
Can you reflect on what could have happened if God did not raise Jesus? What would you do differently with the conviction that you know that God raised Jesus from the grave? May your conviction ignite passion to share the Gospel with boldness and courage, may strengthen you live the exchange life, “It is no longer I that live but Christ.”