“ For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Preston asked, “Did you know that sometimes dead bodies will move?” I answered his question with a question when I said, “What are you talking about?” My friend Preston, who is a funeral director, said, “Sometimes bodies will have muscle contractions after they are dead. Sometimes a hand will quiver. Sometimes a face will twitch. Sometimes an eye might even blink.”
Over the years, I have been around a lot of dead bodies. In my ministry, I have been with people as they took their final breaths and I have preached hundreds of funerals. I have seen a lot of dead bodies, but I have never seen one move. So, I looked at Preston with a look of doubt.
Preston said, “Once, I was preparing a body, and I had to reach down under the table to get something. When I bent over, the hand of the dead man fell on my shoulder.” “Be honest with me, what did you do?” I asked. “I screamed my lungs out.” I said, “If that would have happened to me, there would have been two dead bodies!”
Even though a dead body may still twitch and move, dead bodies don’t come back to life. However, I have a personal relationship with a dead body that came back to life. The Lord Jesus Christ came back from the dead. Jesus is not shut up in a hole. He is sitting up in Heaven. Jesus is not rotting in a tomb. He is reigning on a throne. Jesus is not wearing grave clothes. He is robed in King’s Clothes. Jesus is alive.
This Sunday is Easter. I prefer to call it “Resurrection Sunday” because the resurrection is a vital component of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that the Gospel has three parts. First, Jesus Christ died on the cross for sinners. Second, He was buried. Third, He was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures. The true Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and when you rest your faith in the Gospel – in the Person and work of Jesus Christ – you experience a new birth and have a personal relationship with a Holy God.
The point is: The resurrection of Jesus Christ sets Christianity apart from all the world religions. Other religious leaders died, but only One came back from the grave and is alive forevermore. There is no other religious leader in history who was killed, who was buried, who rose from the dead and left behind an empty tomb. Not one. Confucius, Buddha, Muhammad, Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell, L. Ron Hubbard, Ellen G. White – none of them ever died, was buried, and rose from the dead. A dead man can save no one. Salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ is the only way.
Jesus is alive.
Do you personally know and boldly proclaim the living Savior?
Do you know my Jesus?
James Collins is the senior pastor of First Southern Baptist Church where “Drive-In Church” will be held this Sunday. Find out more information at www.fortscottfsbc.com.