We live in an era of “fake news.” Did he (or she) really say that? Did that event really happen? Conspiracy theories abound. New York Senator Daniel Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but not his own facts.” We need to be discerning and check our sources and get to the truth of any matter in question; it could be a matter of life or death.
Easter Sunday is under a lot of scrutiny these days. Did Jesus rise from the dead? Can we know for sure? Actually, this is the most important question to ask about Christianity. If Jesus did not rise from the dead on Easter Sunday morning, then Christianity is fake and foolish, our faith is worthless, and we have no business believing or following something (or someone) false. Our lives truly are empty if in fact Jesus stayed dead, and we have no hope of eternal life. We would be a people to be most pitied.
To know if Jesus really did rise from the dead, we must examine the evidence we have, which is the eye-witness reports, histories and testimonies found in the Bible. We have in our possession today enough copies of manuscripts and accurate translations that show the Bible is true and can be trusted, just as any other solid, historically accurate book. Archaeology and geography and outside sources of history all line up with the information the Bible presents as well. We know the culture of early Christians in first century Rome, that they were able to remember and repeat the events, share them orally and write them down. Their lives had been changed, and they were committed as communities to preserve the truth of Jesus. With our Bibles firmly in hand, it is easier and more logical to believe the accounts that Jesus died by Roman crucifixion, was buried and rose from the dead, the tomb was empty and He was seen by hundreds of eye-witnesses, and lives were transformed (such as the enemy Saul of Tarsus or skeptical James the brother of Jesus) than to NOT believe these events occurred.
What do the facts of the Bible point to? You might conclude it is legend or lies or lunacy of Jesus and/or His followers, to make up such a story of an empty tomb and resurrection, but this would not reflect the facts presented. Jesus is no longer dead. The best explanation is that He arose, He is risen indeed. “A stolen body” theory or “myths and delusions” of His disciples do not realistically account for the events we read of.
“Just the facts, ma’am.” But facts are stubborn things. Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please (Mark Twain), but they won’t change. We can believe the facts of the Bible, have hope in a risen Savior, and be assured of eternal life with Him, if we trust and obey. It is not fake news. It is a matter of life and death and eternal destiny.