“Outside of the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no hope in this world,” says Ravi Zacharias, Christian apologist and author. “That cross and resurrection at the core of the Gospel is the only hope for humanity. Wherever you go, ask God for wisdom on how to get that Gospel in, even in the toughest situations of life.”
The resurrection changed everything! Today we celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ is our Risen Lord. This is not a metaphor or a symbolic picture, but the literal historical truth. The Resurrection was both a spiritual and a physical event. When Jesus appeared to His disciples, He worked hard to convince them that He was not a ghost (v. 37). Though His glorified body was qualitatively different, He could still show them the scars in His hands and feet (vv. 36-40). He even ate broiled fish (vv. 42–43).
Despite Jesus having told them before the fact (vv. 6–7), His followers had no expectation that He would rise from the dead. The women who discovered the empty tomb had come to anoint His corpse with spices and pay their final respects (v. 1). When they brought the angels’ news to the disciples, it “seemed to them like nonsense” (v. 11). In Luke’s account, only Peter bothered to go and check, and even when he found the tomb empty, “he went away, wondering to himself what had happened” (v. 12). The two disciples on the Emmaus road didn’t know what to make of the women’s story either (vv. 19–24).
That’s why Christ’s post-Resurrection appearances were taught His followers—that what had happened had been exactly what Scripture prophesied (vv. 25–27, 44–48). He opened their minds so they could realize the incredible significance of the Truth standing before them: redemption and forgiveness of sin!
Jesus said “repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations” (v. 47), a mandate the church continues to obey today. Which missionaries do you or your church support? Do you know what’s been happening in their ministries lately? Why not read one of their newsletters and spend time in prayer for them?