Reformed Reflections

 The Lord is Risen, Indeed! 

Our faith is not based on myth. God is the God of history. And history is His story. The Gospel records historic events. The fact of the resurrection, for example, was crucial for the apostle Paul, He wrote, "..if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith" (I Cor 15:14). Without the risen Christ, there is no Gospel. The apostles called for our surrender not to a dead man but to a man who had risen again. Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, is the focal point of the New Testament and our faith. 

One of the finest apologies (defense) for the resurrection is Murray J Harris's From Grave to Glory. Resurrection in the New Testament published by Zondervan Publishing House. In this book, Professor Harris expounds the orthodox view of Christ's bodily resurrection from the grave as verifiable history. He shows how both our Lord's friends and His adversaries agreed that His tomb was empty. He notes that many witnesses have attested to the facts of the resurrection. Even the fact that the story of the empty tomb is' recorded in all four gospels is an effective apology by itself. He says, "when we remember what countless 'facts' of ancient history rest on the testimony of a single literary witness, this four-fold literary testimony to the  emptiness of the tomb becomes a powerful argument." The earliest Christians could not have continued to preach the resurrection unless the tomb had been empty. If Christ had not risen, the enemies of Jesus could have said, "We know where Jesus was buried, and we have checked. The tomb is still intact, " or "Here are witnesses who know the whereabouts of Jesus' body " When you visit Jerusalem you won't find a tomb with a body, but an empty grave. Christ has risen! The tomb is empty! Because of this fact we have hope. "Death has been swallowed up in victory" (I Cor.15:54) 

Johan D. Tangelder
March, 1997