The Empty Tomb

  • Text: Matthew 28:1-15
  • Series: Reasons to Believe (2019), Pt. 6
  • Date: Sunday, April 14, 2019 – AM
  • Venue: Trinity Baptist Church – Seminole, Oklahoma
  • Speaker: Jared Byrns
  • Download Audio: mp3
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Transcript:

Well, I recently heard a story about how in some communities, they will apparently install their fire hydrants with these special bolts that will snap off at a certain amount of pressure. I don’t know if they do this everywhere, but they do it in some places—where they’ll snap off once a certain amount of pressure is applied to it because sometimes people will hit the fire hydrants with their cars. And the city usually would rather go to the expense of having the water gushing up and having to have somebody come out, replace the bolts, and put the fire hydrant back on than have to go to the expense of replacing a fire hydrant that’s been smashed up. They want it to snap off at the bolts if it’s hit by a car, that way the fire hydrant itself is more or less undamaged. What I discovered from that is it actually takes surprisingly little pressure—and I’m not asking anybody to go out and test this and see how much pressure it takes the snap off the fire hydrant. I don’t think you could do it just by going up and kicking it or running and jumping on it. But evidently, you can hit one with your car at a fairly low rate of speed and still have it snap off because they don’t want the fire hydrant damaged. So, it takes surprisingly little pressure to snap off a fire hydrant. And then you’ve just got water gushing everywhere. 

Now, what does that have to do with anything? Because that’s how I am when I start to talk about the resurrection: it takes very little by way of encouragement to just get me to explode, and next thing you know, y’all are listening to a four-hour message. I have to be very careful. The resurrection is one of my favorite topics. A couple of years ago, I started doing a presentation for you all on evidence for the resurrection, and it ended up taking, I believe, four weeks. I intended it to be one Sunday; I had notes for one Sunday, and it took me four weeks to get through those notes. And I still felt: “Man, there were things that I didn’t get to tell them that I wanted to.” So, when I came to talk this morning about the resurrection, I had to limit very carefully the scope of what I’m going to talk about. Otherwise, we’ll be here for weeks on end. So, I said all that to say, if you’re listening to this this morning, and you’re thinking, “Yeah, but what about…?” If you’ve still got questions: “What about this objection? What about this event? How did this work?” It’s not that there are no answers to those things. It’s that I’m having to very careful to try to avoid talking about every rabbit trail that I want to want to deal with when it comes to the resurrection. 

This morning, we’re going to talk about the tomb being empty. Now there are people out there who will say—I will give you this amount of information—there are people out there who will say, “The resurrection never happened because Jesus wasn’t real.” Those are not historians who tell you that. Mainstream historians—and I’m not talking about Christianmainstream historians—most mainstream historians, even non-Christians, agree that there was a historical figure named Jesus who lived in Nazareth, around the time the Bible says He did. And there are historical records outside—I already feel it coming; I already want just to deluge you with this information, so I’m trying to be careful here—there are historical records that record Jesus living at that time. 

Some people will say, “Jesus didn’t actually die. He couldn’t have resurrected because He didn’t actually die.” When you read the description of the crucifixion in the Gospels, and when you compare it with what medical science would tell us to expect, it takes more faith to believe that Jesus survived the cross and sort of got better in the tomb and then pretended to rise again from the dead. It takes more faith to believe that than to believe that He died and rose again. There’s no medical, there’s no scientific way Jesus could have survived the crucifixion, lay in the tomb for three days, and then convinced anybody that He was the Son of God. He would have been in even worse shape after three days.

There are people who say, “The tomb wasn’t empty,” that the whole resurrection is a myth because the tomb wasn’t empty. Well, the people who saw it empty sure believed it was. At the time of the resurrection, there were eleven disciples remaining. If you consider a “disciple” to be a follower of Jesus Christ, there were more. But of the apostles,there were eleven remaining. Judas had already killed himself. So there were eleven, and all eleven of them suffered intense persecution because they said, “No, we saw Him alive. We saw the tomb. We saw Him dead. He was buried, we saw the tomb empty, and then we saw Him alive again.” They suffered intense persecution, and ten of those eleven died as martyrs in gruesome fashion rather than recant that they had seen Jesus alive. 

Not only that, but there were enough people who saw Jesus alive, that the entire Christian church in Jerusalem was convinced that Jesus Christ was alive, and they were able to convince others by their preaching and by their eyewitness testimony that Jesus Christ was alive. And some people will say, “The resurrection was a legend.” Now we can go back and within two years or less—two years or less—of the crucifixion and document the fact that people were already teaching—and dying for the fact that they believed—Jesus Christ had risen again from the dead. Within two years. There’s not enough time for the resurrection to have become a legend, because within two years—

How old were you two years ago? Do you still remember things from two years ago? Whoa, you mean your memories didn’t get completely wiped, and you’re not susceptible to believing anything. I couldn’t tell you that we just all started existing two years ago. I couldn’t tell you that. No, you rememberthings that happened two years ago. I suspect many of you remember things that happened 10 years ago or 15 years ago. The point is, there were people who were living, who were eyewitnesses and saw these things. And we can demonstrate that within two years of the crucifixion—certainly less, but we can document it to within two years of the crucifixion—it was the message, it was the creed of the earliest Christians that Jesus had died, been buried, and had risen again. 

Folks, Jesus really existed. Jesus really died and was buried. The earliest Christians believed it, and they put their money where their mouth was, so to speak. They put their liveswhere their mouths were, more accurately. We have everyreason to believe the tomb is empty. That’s the simplest I can make it for you this morning without going into all the details, all the medical evidence, all the historical records, which would keep us here all day.

If you’re interested in those things, if you want to know more about those things, I have taught on them here, though I’m by no means an expert. I just love the story of the resurrection. But I can point out some resources to you if you have more questions, if you’d like to dig deeper into this, I’d recommend Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ, and the even shorter version of The Case for Christ, of which I’ve handed out some copies here over the years, Lee Strobel’s The Case for Easter.It’s about, I think, a three-chapter, trimmed-down version of The Case for Christ.I have the messages I presented here previously about the evidence for the resurrection. Those are available on my website, and I can get you that information. Gary Habermas, one of the foremost experts on the resurrection and, I believe, the Dean of the Theology Department at Liberty University, spoke at OBU a couple of months ago, right before Carly Jo was born. I got to go hear him: a phenomenal presentation! His website is GaryHabermas.com: G-A-R-Y-H-A-B-E-R-M-A-S.com, if you want to write that down. He has all kinds of information about the evidence for the resurrection. There are all sorts of good sources out there that can give you the evidence that I’ve sort of glossed over this morning.  

We know historically, we look at the resurrection, and it is one of the best-attested facts of ancient history. And we see it recounted accurately in the Gospel accounts. We know it’s accurate because it wasn’t flattering to the people who wrote it. Peter and the other disciples, they do not come off looking well in the resurrection story. They do not look good. They were the ones who doubted; they were the ones who ran and hid; it was the women who discovered the empty tomb. Now that’s not a problem for me. I’m not knocking women. I want to be very clear in the #MeToo era, I’m not knocking women. But in their day, if you wanted to invent a credible witness, you weren’t going to say, “Ah, the women saw it.” Because in many cases, women weren’t even considered reliable witnesses to testify in court. I’m not saying I agree with that. I’m just saying that’s the world as it once was. So, if you were going to invent witnesses, you would have the men. The only reason to say the women found His empty tomb is because that’s what actually happened. 

If you were going to invent the story you wouldn’t make Joseph of Arimathaea, who was apparently the one dissenting member of the Sanhedrin—he was the one not there for the vote, evidently, when they voted to condemn Jesus—who was an evidently a follower of Jesus: you wouldn’t have a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin be the hero of the story. When the disciples ran and hid, Joseph of Arimathaea is the one who went to Pilate and said, “Can I give Him a proper burial?” 

You know, there are just too many inconvenient things for it to be made up. I know it’s popular in this day and age to say, “The Bible, you can’t take that literally.” The more I look at the Bible, the more I’m convinced it’s literally true. When I say literally true, I mean, it’s true in the way God intended it and in the way that the original readers would have understood it. The more I come away convinced that it’s the truth, that it’s God’s truth. And we see one account of the story of the resurrection, in Matthew chapter 28. 

Starting in verse 1, it says: “Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men” (Matthew 28:1-4, NKJV).

Now when you look at all the Gospel accounts together, what this appears to be saying is the women came out there as the day after the Sabbath began to dawn, that Sunday morning. Some accounts talk about it being night; some talk about it being morning there. That’s not a contradiction. There is that time of the morning where I don’t really know what to call it. It’s still dark, but it’s just sort of becoming light. I hate that time of the morning. Nobody should be awake to see that time of the morning. But nevertheless, it’s there. So, they come out at this time, and it says there was an earthquake. I don’t think this is saying they were there for the earthquake. They were coming out there. And there has been this earthquake, where the angel of the Lord descends from Heaven, rolls the stone back, and just sits there. Imagine the Angel of the Lord just sitting there on the stone looking at the soldiers like, “What are you going to do? Your move.” 

Now Jesus has risen again. The earth, the very ground shakes because the Creator has come back to life. I’m not talking about God the Father; I’m talking about God the Son, who was co-participant in creation. God the Son has come back to life here on earth in His physical body. 

And “his countenance was like lightning” (Matthew 28:3, NKJV). Talking about the angel who sat there, His face was like like lightning “and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men” (Matthew 28:3-4, NKJV). 

They fell down. They passed out in fright. They fell to the ground. Big, burly Roman soldiers—tough guys. This wasn’t me, who, when I don’t know Charla’s coming down the hallway, and then there she is when I come around the corner, I about have a coronary. These were some tough guys and they had seen some things. Yet, they see the angel of the Lord and the stone roll back, and they fall over like dead men. And when the women get there, in verse 5, it says: “But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified’” (Matthew 28:5, NKJV).

It’s interesting, the reaction of the angel to the two different groups of people. To the soldiers who were there to make sure that Jesus stayed in that tomb, the angel was a horrifying figure; he was a threatening figure, an imposing figure that scared them so badly they passed out. But to the women, he’s this gentle figure: this understanding figure to those who believed in Jesus Christ. He brought good news. And he said, “Don’t be afraid.” It’s interesting how every time the angels announce Jesus’ presence, they tell us, “Don’t be afraid. Why? Because when Jesus shows up, it’s good news. He says, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified” (Matthew 28:5, NKJV). Verse 6: “He is not here” (Matthew 28:6, NKJV).

He’s not here. What do you mean He’s not here? Where else would He be? That’s probably what they were thinking. “He is not here; for He is risen” (Matthew 28:6, NKJV). He’s risen. He’s back. He’s back from the dead. “He is risen, as He said” (Matthew 28:6, NKJV). Sometimes we miss this. Jesus told them this was going to happen. They didn’t understand this at the time. But Jesus told them on multiple occasions that this was going to happen. One of the most prominent is when He told the religious leaders, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” again (John 2:19, NKJV). And they thought He was talking about the actual physical temple that they were all standing in. And they said, it took us 40 some odd years to build this. And you think you’re so powerful that you’re going to rebuild it in three days? I don’t think so. Little did they know. He wasn’t just talking about being powerful enough to rebuild the temple in three days. He was talking about the temple of His body. And He’s not just powerful enough to rebuild the temple. He’s powerful enough to rise from the dead in three days. He told them it was coming. They didn’t understand. His disciples apparently didn’t understand, or they wouldn’t have run and hidden necessarily. But the angel said, “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said” (Matthew 28:6, NKJV). I love that. “Come, see” (Matthew 28:6). “Come, see,” he says, “the place where the Lord lay” (Matthew 28:6, NKJV).

I think the women did not seem to have lost their faith in Jesus the way the men did. The disciples still had affection for Jesus. But, as far as they were concerned, that life seems to have been over. The women probably didn’t understand any more than the disciples did that He meant He was going to rise from the dead. But for them, they couldn’t let go of Jesus. There was still this attachment to Jesus, this love for Jesus. And yet, sometimes as much as we love Jesus, as much as we want to believe that His promises are true, sometimes we need to see some evidence. You know how I know we need to see evidence? Because God gave it to us. Somewhere along the line, we’ve been convinced that faith and evidence are mutually exclusive. That if I have evidence, it means I don’t have faith. So, I just need to trust, and it doesn’t matter about needing to see evidence. But then you end up putting your faith in just any old thing. 

But it’s not the strength of our faith that determines its validity; it’s its object. If we don’t have some reason to believe that the thing we’re putting our faith in is worth putting our faith in, then it’s worthless faith. I can go pick anything that people worship and decide to put my faith in that withoutevidence. But just because I believe stronglydoesn’t mean anything. God gives us reasonsto believe. There’s still room for faith because we still have to look at who He is. And there’s our evidence: who He is and the things He’s done. There’s our evidence. But faith comes in, saying, “So now I believe that He’s going to do the things He’s promised to do.” So, we have faith based in God and His track record, that He’s going to bring to pass the things He says He’ll do—that He’s going to continue to be the God He’s always been. So there’s this place in your world where the angel says, “You need to see. You need to come look at the evidence.” He said, “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matthew 28:6, NKJV). Come and see for yourself. Come and look. Come and look and see that He’s everything that He said He was. Come look and see that He’s done everything He promised He would do. You didn’t understand the promises at the time, but come see He’s fulfilled them anyway. 

Verse 7: “And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you” (Matthew 28:7, NKJV). So, He invites them. He says, “Come and see,” but He says, “Go quickly.” You don’t have to stand here for the rest of your life and ponder the evidence. Once you have the evidence, And once you know that Jesus is who He says He is, then go quickly. He says to do something about it. Go tell His disciples that He’s risen from the dead. Go tell them what you’ve seen. Go to Testify. Are there things about the resurrection they didn’t know yet or didn’t understand? Absolutely. Were they called to go and be experts before they told somebody about Jesus? No. He says to go tell them what you’ve seen. Go tell them what you’ve seen; go be a witness. All you have to do is open your mouth and tell the truth about what you’ve seen. Go tell them that He is risen from the dead, and indeed, He’s going before you to Galilee. He’s on His way to Galilee now. And you’ll see Him there. Behold, I’ve told you. So, go tell the disciples what you’ve seen and what you’ve heard. Go spread the news and tell them that He’ll meet you in Galilee. 

“So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word” (Matthew 28:8, NKJV). It’s interesting how you can have that mix of emotions: a mixture of fear and great joy. The thing I best liken it to is becoming a parent. The first time I was expecting I didn’t know anything about babies. It was a frightening experience. I mean, I was glad. But then I was also scared to death. There you go fear and great joy. And you know what? Each time I’ve been expecting again, there’s been a combination of those two emotions: the fear and the great joy. Now by the time we were expecting Carly Jo, we’d already had three others. I knew how to take care of a baby. So it wasn’t fear from that standpoint, but it was a fear of—you see Benjamin, Madeleine, and Charlie running around and climbing walls and all this stuff. And I’d look at Charla and say, “what were we thinking? Number four? How are we going to make this work?” Talk about some fear, when she’s eight months pregnant, and the other three are running wild. 

There’s a mixture of fear and great joy. Some of you have felt that same mixture of fear and great joy. Now take that and crank it up to ten, and that’s what the women felt as they were leaving the tomb: that mixture of fear and great joy. The joy of “can you believe it?” and the fear of “what in the world just happened here?” 

“So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word” (Matthew 28:8, NKJV). They could not wait to go and tell about what they’d seen at the tomb. “And as they went to tell his disciples,” verse 9, “behold, Jesus met them, saying, ‘Rejoice!’” (Matthew 28:9, NKJV). Hey, guys! Be glad! He meets them on the road, and He tells them to rejoice. “So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him” (Matthew 28:9, NKJV). They didn’t have to stop and think about it. They knew that this was Jesus. They knew He had risen from the dead, and they were so excited that all they could do was grab Him by the feet and worship at His feet. They were so excited to have Him back. 

I suspect that just about everybody in the room has lost a loved one at some point. And I’m talking about those loved ones that you’d say I would give anything to just have another day with them. You know, I think about my grandfather. He’s been gone for a little over three years now. And there’s not a week that passes that I don’t think, “Oh, I need to call Pawpaw.” But I can’t afford the long distance on that one. There’s stuff going on that I just want to tell him, that I just want to talk to him about. I just want to get under the truck with him one more time and change the oil together. Now imagine that loved one that you’d give anything to see again, and suddenly they show up, and they’re alive. How overjoyed would you be? They love Jesus. They loved Him so much that they gave up their lives to follow Him for three years, and suddenly He’s been cruelly taken away from them. He’s been unexpectedly taken away from them. Now, He’d been warning them it was going to happen, but they didn’t see it coming. They didn’t understand. So, from their standpoint, He’s been taken away unexpectedly, and they are plunged into this grief. All they want is just to see Jesus again, and suddenly He shows up there along the road. Think how tightly you would hold that loved one. Folks, that doesn’t begin to compare to how they held on to Jesus. 

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me’” (Matthew 28:10, NKJV). So just like the angel told them, go tell them I’m alive. Go tell them I’m headed to Galilee, and tell them I’ll see them there. Now verse 11. “Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, ‘Tell them, “His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.” And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure’” (Matthew 28:11-14, NKJV).

See, the Roman soldiers to were under threat of Death, evidently, or at least some severe punishment if they were found sleeping on duty. For the Roman soldiers to go and say, “We were sleeping, and the disciples stole Him. We were overpowered by this church group while we were asleep,” that’s one of the worst things that they could say. The only reason the Romans have for saying this for any amount of money when they’re putting their necks on the line is because the real explanation is worse for them. The real explanation, “This guy rose from the dead, and we went and executed the Son of God,” that’s worse for them. Because if that message starts getting out, then everybody starts flocking to Jesus. So, somebody comes out with a cover story, and it looks bad for them. And it’s a lie. The only reason for them to give that cover story is because the real story is even worse. And so the Jewish authorities tell them, “tell the people, tell your authorities, that they came while you were asleep, and they stole the body.” 

Again, the disciples did not steal the body. Because if there were some grand conspiracy of the disciples, as they were under torture and persecution and pain of death, somebody would have talked. Right? Do you know why a lot of crimes get solved? Why a lot of cold cases get solved? Because somebody had to open his mouth. But nobody ever recanted. The disciples, any one of them, could have made the torment stop if they had just said, “All right, all right, I confess. We did it.” But nobody ever said that, because they didn’t. 

So they said, “lie and say the disciples stole the body while you slept. And if you get in trouble, we’ll try to make it right.” And they gave them some money, and they sent them on their way. It says in verse 15, “So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day” (Matthew 28:15, NKJV). Until the day of the writing of the book of Matthew, they were still trying to spread that rumor that the body had been stolen. As a matter of fact, I read that in some Jewish sources as I was researching for my latest book on how different religions view Jesus. One of the answers, one of the Jewish answers to the resurrection is that it’s just a hoax: the body was stolen. And actually, it’s not just a Jewish answer; there are a lot of people in our world who think the body was stolen. But that Just makes no sense from the standpoint of how the disciples went forward after this. 

What we see here in this passage is that the women found the tomb empty. How do we know Jesus is who He says He is? Because all of the evidence points to it, especially the empty tomb. If that tomb had not been empty, they could have put the whole story of the resurrection to bed right then. They could have strangled it in its cradle before it got any traction. Oh, you think Jesus is alive? Let’s go down to the tomb and show you. They could have taken a group of authorities and a group of soldiers down there, they could have rolled the stone back and said, “See? Still dead.” Nobody ever did that. As a matter of fact, we see after the women find the tomb empty, the authorities in Jerusalem Don’t argue about the tomb being empty. They admitthat the tomb was empty. They admit the tomb was empty. I don’t know if you noticed that in there. But there’s an admission from the government that the tomb was empty. Where’s that admission? It’s where they don’t try to deny it; they try to cover it up. They do what governments often try to do. They covered it up. You don’t cover something up if you know it’s not true. Oh, so many stories I could tell that illustrate that point. They immediately said, “Oh, that tomb is empty. We’ve got to do something about it,” and then went for the cavalry. So, the tomb was empty. The women found it. The government admitted it and tried to cover it up.

So, what’s the significance of the empty tomb? Why does it matter so much? It matters because if Jesus rose from the dead, then everything He said about who He is was absolutely true. If Jesus rose from the dead, then He is God in human flesh, as He claimed. If He rose from the dead, then He has the power over life and death as He said; He has the power over sin and judgment as He said; over forgiveness. He has the Ability to forgive sins as God, as He said. He was the Messiah. He was all the things that He claimed to be if the tomb was empty. 

And so we’re faced, you and I—all of us are faced with this message of the empty tomb. Either it was empty, either He rose again, or He didn’t. And we’re presented with a choice. Do we believe that He rose? Or do we believe against all the evidence it’s just some story? See, the empty tomb calls on each of us. It beckons to each of us. The empty tomb calls on the seeker to come and see.

This morning, if you’re not somebody who believes that Jesus is the Son of God, we’re glad you’re here. Even if somebody dragged you here, we’re glad you’re here. All the evidence for the empty tomb calls you just like the angel said to the women, come and see. The angel never said, “just take my word for it.” The angel said in verse 6, “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matthew 28:6, NKJV). And if you’re on the fence this morning about Jesus; if you’re skeptical; if you think maybe He was a good moral teacher, but you don’t buy the Son of God stuff, the empty tomb beckons you to come and see. 

If I’mnot giving you enough evidence here this morning, then I encourage you to go check out some of the resources I mentioned earlier. I’m sure I can find some more, but those are a good place to start. The empty tomb says, “Come and see.” We can’t ignore it. We can’t ignore that the stone’s been rolled away. The soldiers are lying there like dead men. The angel’s sitting on top of the stone, saying, “Come and see.” 

We can say, “No, I don’t want to look at the evidence.” But that’s making a choice too. We are presented with the evidence. The evidence of the empty tomb is right there for us to find. And we’re called to come and see. We have a choice to make whether we’re going to do that or not. If you’re somebody who’s never trusted Christ as your Savior, I invite you to come and see. Don’t take my word for it. Go look, go see not only what the scripture says, but also what the historical record says, what the medical evidence says; Go look at all of it. Come and see that the tomb is empty. 

Many of you are sitting there saying, “Well, I’m not a skeptic. What does this have to do with me?” There’s a message from the empty tomb for you as well. See, the women were not just told to come and see; they were told to go and tell. Just as the seeker is called to come and see, the believer is called to go and tell. Do you know why they went and told and why they were so anxious? It’s because they had incredible news. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, if you believe that He died on the cross for your sins, and rose again the third day, as was foretold in Scripture, as was foretold by Him, if you believe that and you’re not telling anybody, you are sitting on the best news in history. We get good news, and we can’t wait to share it. Sometimes we get mediocrenews, and we can’t wait to share it. That’s why I’m sure this afternoon there will be plenty of pictures on Facebook and Instagram of what everybody’s having for lunch. Maybe not y’all, but there are people out there who do this. We get mediocre news, and we can’t wait to share it. The most incredible news in history is that God the Son came to earth and lived a perfect, sinless life so that He could die on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He bled and died for our sins to pay for our sins in full. He was buried, and then three days later, He walked out of that tomb, leaving it empty, and leaving behind Him a trail of eyewitnesses a mile long. Why in the world, what possible reason could we have, for not telling everybody we meet that Jesus is alive and that there’s evidence to prove it? And if He’s alive, that He offers forgiveness and salvation to each of us, because He died on that cross to pay for our sins and proved His power to forgive sins by rising from the dead. 

I hope you have not heard that story so many times that you’ve let it become routine. I hope you still find that story just as amazing as I do. And if not, you go, just like the seeker, and you dig into the details of it too. What you’ll find is so rich and so incredible; you’ll want to tell people. I grew up hearing the story of the resurrection in church. And it was just one of the stories that we learned. I believed it was true, but it was just one of the Bible stories. It was when I got to college—I’ve told you this story before—it’s when I got to college, and I was challenged by professors who were hostile toward everything I believed. Everything I believed. And I had to go research for myself, “why am I a Christian? Is there some reason for this?” And they came back with all these arguments and all these things that I couldn’t overcome. But you get to the resurrection, and the more I dug into it, I said, “this is absolutely true. They cannot disprove this.” and people still try, but they haven’t yet. And the more I dug into the details and the evidence, I realized just how incredible a thing Jesus Christ did. Folks, we have the greatest news in history to tell: that Jesus died for our sins, but He’s alive today, and He offers forgiveness.

The preceding is a rush transcript edited by volunteers and offered with no guarantee as to accuracy. All Scripture references cited as “NKJV” are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text Copyright © 2019, Jared Byrns. All rights reserved.