Watering the Tulips
March 2, 2016
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” –1 Corinthians 15:3-8
The resurrection of Jesus is a fact without question. If ever there was a place where such a supposed falsehood could have been quickly snuffed out, it was Israel. If Jesus wasn’t Whom He claimed to be and didn’t do the things He claimed to do, the Jews would have immediately dismissed it as fantasy and moved on with the status quo. Yet Peter told these very people on Pentecost, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know” (Acts 2:22). The works of Jesus were “attested to [them]”, done “in [their] midst” and they knew them to be the truth. The same can be said of the resurrection.
“But no, they would have believed if they knew a man was raised from the dead”, one might well say. This is not true, however, for Jesus recounted a conversation between a dead rich man in torments as he spoke with Abraham. In response to the rich man’s plea that Lazarus be allowed to return from the dead to warn his family, Abraham said, “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead” (Luke 16:31). The resurrection of Jesus proves this to be true.
One would also think that the chief priests upon hearing the witness of those guarding Jesus’ tomb would have changed their minds concerning Jesus. As the guards detailed how the angel came with an earthquake and rolled the stone away, logic would lead us to believe the chief priests would have immediately seen their error and repented. However, that is not what occured. “And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, ‘Tell people, “His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep”’” (Matthew 28:12-13). Having heard this grand account, they immediately sought to cover it up much like they sought to cover up the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 12:9-11).
Today’s world is much the same. History teaches us that all of the apostles died still professing to have seen the risen Jesus. Now, this might not be so amazing except that history informs us that 11 of them died a martyr’s death. And even that 12th one was supposedly boiled in oil in the Colosseum. But in the midst of these tortures, not one of them recanted. In fact, none of the 500 that saw Jesus alive recanted. Surely, the Jews would have loved a witness that did just that. But they never found one. If they had, they would have put him out there for all the world to see.
The world has been turned upside down as a result of the resurrection of Jesus. Unlike a plethora of religious people, followers of Jesus have remained firmly committed to Him for 2000 years – because He is surely risen from the dead. Friend, what is your opinion of Jesus today? Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe the witnesses? Even the facts if weighed fairly point to Him being raised from the dead. And your eternity weighs on it – “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net . “Your App to the Gospel” can be downloaded at iTunes for iPhone, iPad and IPod Touch, Google Play for Android, the Windows Phone Marketplace, and the Windows Store for Windows 8/8.1 based tablets and computers. Please download it today!