The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very heart of orthodox Christian faith and the most astonishing claim in the Bible. We are approaching the season when Christians around the world renew their focus on this important event. Through the centuries, scholars and theologians have heatedly debated the evidence for the resurrection. Through all these discussions, the words of the great Apostle of the Christian faith is very definitive.
1 Corinthians 15:14-17: "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith, if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins."
Each Easter season, there are renewed debates and criticisms focused on this cornerstone of Christian faith. These attacks usually begin with the promotion of a new book, movie, or study of a recent sensational discovery that supposedly gives scientific information contradicting the eye witness accounts of events recorded in Scripture, particularly the resurrection. Through the years Christians have come to expect such attacks. Were it not for the doubt and confusion they successfully create in the minds of the superficially informed we would gladly welcome them for they always prove to be bogus. In the end they add more credibility to the truth of Scripture as thoughtful people are once again challenged to honestly weigh the pros and cons of the evidence.
The Gospel Jesus proclaimed centers in basic issues - human life, death and the hereafter. The anthropologist, the archeologist, the psychiatrists and the scientist study bones, brains and genes in order to unravel the mysteries of these important issues. The Bible simplifies what secular minds tend to complicate by the revelation that man was created in the image of God. He has a body, a soul and a spirit. Man would have lived forever if it were not for that great historic catastrophe theologians call "the fall." Jesus came to reverse the effects of the fall and restore all that God originally intended His creation to be and more. This restoration begins with the resurrection of His people of which our precious Lord was the first example. It will continue until all the sorrows, pain and death in this world of care are removed.
The words of Jesus in St. John 3:36 are full of hope and promise. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life."
Indeed, the ultimate evidence for the truth of Christian doctrine is in the millions of lives that have been transformed and filled with joy and hope by the personal day to day relationship with the living Savior.
• Gene Holman is pastor at Living Word Fellowship.