by Pastor Mike Robinson
I have for many years studied the histories of other times, and examined and weighed the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God has given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead (Thomas Arnold, Author of The History of Rome).
Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them to the end. Often had they been faithless and now, while addressing them, He knows that they will all in a few hours forsake Him. Yet He trusts them; He commits His cause to their keeping. And we must love as He loved.1
History can be conspicuous at the cruel ending.
· David Koresh goes down in a blaze of fire as the “sinful Messiah.”
· Jim Jones swallowed lead and perished as a phony.
· Joe Smith takes a gun and tries to shoot his way out of jail killing a man. Smith is killed by a gunman who responded to Smith’s attack.
· Muhammad is poisoned by his Jewish wife.*
· Jesus Christ is crucified, dead, and buried. Nonetheless, He rises from the grave after three days.
On Easter Sunday, churches from around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ—the only man who predicted His resurrection and fulfilled His prophecy.**
With Christ’s resurrection confirmed, wouldn’t you expect the whole world to accept Christ as Lord and Savior? For all men to toss away their false gods and idols? Ha, right. Truth may be true; history may be choreographed—Jesus the only religious founder with proof, a perfect life who offers perfect love—but truth is not always embraced. Surprise. Surprise. Jesus offers truth, grace, and mercy like no other. And unlike any other, His life streams out hundreds of fulfilled prophecies; unlike any other He doesn’t stay in the grave. He is risen.
Wow! It is so beautiful.
Yet, many reject His love.
Don’t feel sorry for Christ, who, it should be said, wouldn’t feel the least bit sorry for anyone who rejects the truth. Jesus said He would get all who are His, not one would perish. Jesus was history’s most compassionate man—it was part of what makes Him great, His willingness to reach out and love and heal every hurting person, sometimes even among His enemies. His most telling parable was that of the Good Samaritan. An enemy of the Jewish people was made the hero in Christ’s compelling tale about extending mercy to those who do not deserve it. By the end of the story, we will all have deep inspiration to reach out to all men with compassion, friends or enemies.
Jesus crucified, entombed, and risen.
But it’s not the ending.
Jesus, after His resurrection ascended into Heaven.
Jesus reigns in Heaven with the nail scars on His glorious resurrected body. A Savior who is never overmatched.
Christ is risen and ascended as He rules from His celestial throne.
*Following a bloody conquest, Islamic history records that Muhammad was poisoned by his Jewish wife, Safiyah, because he ordered the torture and beheading of her husband Kinana, the leader of the Jews at Khaibar.
** A powerful proof for Christianity is the messianic prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus Christ. The Old Testament foretold the coming of the Messiah in precise detail. The text was written centuries before the coming of Jesus and predicted more than 300 prophecies about Him. No other founder of any religion can provide a similar prophetic record of their life written down centuries before their birth. Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White, David Berg, Muhammad, and Buddha did not supply a widely transmitted, pre-existing written record that accurately predicted the specific details of their life and work.