In the 1960’s a massive scandal rocked America and the world. President Nixon was impeached for trying to cover up illegal behaviour and removed from office. It was called the Watergate scandal and now gives its name to pretty much every scandal that rocks a Western government. Charles Colson was one of Nixon’s right hand men and ultimately went to prison for his part in it. In prison, Colson came to faith in Christ. Later, he said.
“I know the resurrection is a fact and watergate proved it to me. How? Because the 12 disciples testified they had seen Jesus risen from the dead, then they proclaimed the truth for 40 years, never once denying it."
Everyone was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it were not true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world and they couldn’t keep a lie for 3 weeks. You’re telling me 12 disciples kept a lie for 40 years. Impossible!
EM Blaiklock, the famous Historian, said: “The evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is better authenticated than most of the facts of all human history.”
Jesus is alive!
And this reality changes everything. In a world filled with a growing sense of hopelessness and purposelessness, the message of the resurrection of Jesus shines a light of purpose and hope. If Jesus is alive then death is not the end and there is hope not only for this life but also for the life to come. If Jesus is alive then there is meaning to the madness! The despair that so many feel due to a year of lockdowns, uncertainty and turmoil is only a temporary thing. “This too shall pass”. If Jesus is alive then, well, anything is possible.
Recently a doctor in our church shared that she was with a lady who nearly died of covid. She was in hospital for six weeks (she’s in her 80s). Apparently at one point she left her body and found herself standing in front of a door filled with light. There were people on the other side of the door and she really wanted to go through. But a man came out and hugged her and she was filled with incredible love. He said, “you can’t go through yet.” He led her back to her bed and she recovered from covid. But she said to our GP friend that she didn’t know who the man was. Our friend was able to share about Jesus and who he was; the one who is the door!
Brennan Manning, the great writer and speaker, shared his wisdom on the resurrection; “An awareness of the resurrected Christ banishes meaninglessness—the dreaded sense that all our life experiences are disconnected and useless. Without deliberate awareness of the present risenness of Jesus, life is nonsense, all activity useless, all relationships in vain.
Apart from the risen Christ, we live in a world of impenetrable mystery and utter obscurity—a world without meaning, a world of death, danger, and darkness. A world of inexplicable futility. Nothing is interconnected. Nothing is worth doing, for nothing endures. It is all sound and fury, with no ultimate significance. But the dark riddle of life is illuminated in Jesus; the meaning, purpose, and goal of everything that happens to us, and the way to make it all count, can be learned only from the one who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.