A view of the resurrection of Jesus Christ through the eyes of a non believer. When a non believer looks at what happened on that day, what do they see?
The death of a good man? – a rebel? – a maniac? What else is seen? An empty tomb – the product of zealous followers? – grave robbers?
Is the story a fairy tale? A myth? A misinterpretation of facts?
The truth be told – people all through history have followed the trail of this story to find out what happened after the resurrection and, despite all of our technology and despite all of those seeking to either prove or disprove the resurrection of Jesus, no one has been able to locate evidence that proves a different story other than the one found within these pages.
We know He was there and now, He is not.
But, factual evidence doesn’t stop there.
Soldiers commanded to guard the tomb against this exact scenario reporting a vision of an angelic being and a missing body.
A plot conceived to cover the failed attempt to keep His body in the tomb.
A group of women stating they had seen Jesus alive.
A gathering of 500 people witnessed His appearance to them within 40 days of His death.
A group of twelve men known as His disciples willing to die to stand by their story that they had personally seen Him alive.
After Jesus’ resurrection, there were 120 believers. 2000 years after this event, 2.2 billion people say that they believe that Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
That number represents those alive today. It does not take into account the great number of those who believed in His resurrection down through history who have already died.
What causes such a tidal wave of faith? How did this story cause such a “fire” that it has affected such a large number of people?
It’s what happens after the resurrection that answers the question.
Before His death, Jesus told His disciples this:
But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. John 16:5-7
Jesus said that it was to our advantage that He go away. Like most of us, I believe the disciples could not believe that they would have an advantage through Jesus’ absence.
Jesus stated that the advantage for the believers would come in the arrival of the Helper. In verse 13, Jesus called this Helper the Spirit.
After His death, even His most ardent followers were scattered abroad for fear. After His resurrection, something happened that changed everything.
And being assembled together with them, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, which, He said, you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4-5
Then Jesus elaborated on what would happen to the believers that would make them change and change everything:
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8
It is one thing to know who Jesus is. It is another to have seen Him do things. It is another to have memories of Him from the past. But, what Jesus is revealing after His resurrection takes things to a whole different level.
You may know what happened after this conversation: Jesus ascends to heaven; leaving His disciples behind. But, then:
They were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4
In other words, the disciples caught fire! And, it was the fire that made all the difference in the world!
This was the day that changed everything! True, it wasn’t possible until the resurrection of Jesus, but after this event – Jesus went viral!
Its after Easter. Have you experienced the “fire”?