Did Jesus really rise from the dead on that first Easter? How was it possible? Or is the Easter story only a nice myth - just a symbol of the hope we all have for life after death, as one friend of mine says? — W.W.
No, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead that we read about in the Bible is not a myth or a symbol. Jesus Christ was a real man who really suffered and died - and on that first Easter He really rose from the tomb.
Does this seem incredible to you? Of course it does - because you and I know that once a person is dead, their life on this earth has ended and they don't come back to life. And Jesus' contemporaries knew it, too (more than we do, in fact, for death was common in the ancient world). As Job asked centuries before, "If a man dies, will he live again?" (Job 14:14).
And yet, within days Jesus' disciples were willing to risk death to proclaim the message of Christ. The reason? They knew beyond doubt that Jesus - whose death and burial they had witnessed - was alive and had walked among them. As the Apostle Paul recorded, "He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living" (1 Corinthians 15:5-6).
But Jesus Christ not only came back from the grave almost 2,000 years ago. He is alive even today, and by His Spirit He wants to come into our lives. Because He rose from the dead we can have hope - hope right now, and hope for eternity. This Easter put your faith and trust in Him.