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The Death of Death

04/05/12

The Death of Death

Here is a letter written to a local advice column along with the response:

Dear Eutychus:


Our preacher said, on Easter, that Jesus just swooned on the cross and that the disciples nursed Him back to health. What do you think? Sincerely, Bewildered

Dear Bewildered:


Beat your preacher with a cat-of-nine-tails with 39 heavy strokes, nail him to a cross; hang him in the sun for 6 hours; run a spear through his heart; embalm him; put him in an airless tomb for 36 hours and see what happens. Sincerely, Eutychus

All of Christianity hangs on the validity of Jesus? resurrection. That?s why the worldly man hates the miracle of resurrection. If Jesus didn?t rise from the dead, then there?s no Christianity. If there?s no Christianity, then there?s no responsibility. The moral teaching of the Christian faith, without the resurrection of Jesus, is just a moral suggestion. It is not absolute or binding.

Therefore, rebellious man must contrive some way to get around the cross and empty tomb. He cannot argue against the historicity of Christ. He would be laughed out of the arena of rational thought. But if it can be proven Jesus was not the man He claimed to be, well then, you can dismiss Him. So men argue against the morality and the miracles of Jesus. They present Jesus to be either a homosexual as in the movie The Last Temptation of Christ, or they say He had a secret fling with Mary Magdalene as Dan Brown?s The Da Vinci Code portrayed. The attempt is to make Jesus to be less than He taught and therefore easily dismissed as a hypocrite.

Others try to deny the miracles of Christ and especially the resurrection of Christ. What?s sad is many who claim to be followers of Jesus have joined this chorus as the preacher in the advice column. In this case Jesus didn?t really die but passed out of consciousness. Others imagine that He did die, but only His spirit survived death, not His body.

All men?s spirits outlast their bodies. If this were the case with Christ, then nothing new would have occurred with Jesus. But that is not the testimony of Scripture or the early apostles who witnessed the resurrected Jesus. This was something completely new. Jesus did more than survive death?He defeated it. The first eyewitnesses thought they had seen Jesus? spirit when He appeared to them. ?And He said to them, ?Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have?? (Luke 24:38, 39). This was no spirit; it was the same person inhabiting the same body that was taken off the cross and laid in the garden tomb. Death has been vanquished. Jesus gave it its mortal wound. Death is dying and will one day be no more.

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the only plausible reality. A man died. There was a corpse. Three days later there was no corpse. The guards at the tomb were not executed, as the law required, rather they are paid to say the disciples stole the body. Jesus is seen, touched, and heard by women, disciples, and over 500 people at one time. Each apostle is persecuted or martyred for preaching that Jesus arose from the dead. Would sane men die one by one for a lie if they had stolen the body and hidden it? It is lunacy to deny the facts and reject that Jesus was the first to rise from the dead to die no more. He did not cheat death?He conquered death. His resurrection is the first fruit of a harvest yet to come. As He was raised from the dead so will we be raised. Death has lost its sting, and soon it will lose its hold on the millions of bodies of believers in Jesus. Death will die its own death because Jesus is alive!

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