As Palm Sunday approaches, we’re entering the time of the year when tale spinners come out of the woodwork with conspiracy theories about the authenticity of the resurrection of Christ. When the dust clears, however, the fictions always fall and the resurrection stands.
Why is this repeatedly true?
Why are these false arguments against new life so hard to sell?
There are three accepted answers to these questions: the empty tomb, the testimonies of eyewitnesses and the existence of churches today, but in our present setting, two more earthshaking events add exclamation points to this important conclusion.
According to the Bible, when the seventh word of Christ had been spoken from the cross, there was an earthquake (Matthew 27:51) that split rocks, tore the temple veil in two and opened some graves. The earthquake at the cross made the crucifixion so public that it was impossible to ignore.
The death of Christ was an earthshaking event to His followers. Most of them fled the scene and in the minds of some all hope was gone, but this was soon to be changed by another earthquake; this one greeting the women who headed for the tomb of Christ on Sunday morning.
Moments after the earth began to move beneath their feet, these faithful women discovered the stone that had been placed at the mouth of the tomb had been rolled away, ending their doubts and sending them on their way to share the good news. The reality of the resurrection made them missionaries and later the disciples would join them in getting the infant church on its way to fulfilling their commission to spread the good news that death had been conquered and life could be offered to all who believe.
A college student had reached a questioning point in his life. He was struggling with doubts about the meaning of life, the reliability of the Bible, how the world began and whether or not the training his faithful parents had given him was really relevant. Answers kept eluding him so I raised one more question: “Did Jesus Christ come out of the grave alive again?”
At first the disciples of Jesus struggled with this same question but soon after receiving word of the resurrection, their lives were transformed and they set out to fulfill the mission entrusted to them by their Lord.
Thomas doubted at first but after one weak week, he was willing to die as a martyr in the service of the One he had doubted.
The tiny group of formerly fearful disciples was so changed by news of the resurrection that their number increased from one hundred twenty to ten million by the end of the first century.
The questioning college student faced the facts of history and his doubts were blown away by the twin earthquakes of his Lord’s death and resurrection.
An honest investigation will do the same for you.
Two earthquakes prove the record’s true.
Roger Campbell is an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. He can be reached at email@example.com