God took the worst thing that man could do to his Son, and transformed it
into the best thing he could do for man.
Satan was defeated in Gethsemane on the cross, not by directly
confronting the devil, but by fulfilling the destiny to which He had been
called. The greatest battle that was ever won was accomplished by the apparent
death of the victor, without even a word of rebuke to His adversary! - Francis
The cross and the crucifixion of Christ completed the
atonement of a sinful
world by the sacrifice of the sinless Son of God.
(1John 4:10 Herein is love, not
that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the
propitiation for our sins.)
The empty tomb and the resurrection of Christ signified the gift of eternal life.
(John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no
more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.)
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul explains in detail the importance of the resurrection
Paul gives six disastrous consequences if there were no resurrection:
preaching Christ would be senseless (v. 14);
faith in Christ would be useless (v. 14);
all the witnesses and preachers of the resurrection would be
liars (v. 15);
no one would be redeemed from sin (v. 17);
all former believers would have perished (v.18);
Christians would be the most pitiable people on the earth (v.
But Christ indeed has risen from the dead and “has become the
first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (v. 20), assuring that we will
follow Him in resurrection.
Gilbert West and Lord Lyttleton, two Oxford students, believed Christianity was
a "tale gone mad" and they determined to refute the Christian faith. Lyttleton
resolved to disprove the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, and West would refute the
resurrection of Jesus Christ. They figured a careful, rational, examination of
the evidence would easily disprove the Christian faith.
But after examining the evidence,
they both separately came to the opposite conclusion! Lyttleton concluded that
Saul of Tarsus did, in fact, convert to the Apostle Paul through Jesus Christ.
And Gilbert West concluded that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was among the
best established facts in all of history! West went on to write a book entitled, "Observations
on the History and Evidences of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ".
Simon Greenleaf, in An Examination of the Testimony of
the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of
Justice, p.29 wrote: "it was IMPOSSIBLE that the
apostles could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not
JESUS CHRIST ACTUALLY RISEN FROM THE DEAD, . . ."
Before Jesus' death, He promised eternal life to those who follow Him.
If He had not risen from His death, He was no
different from other religious figures with a finite life span.
But because Jesus had risen from His death, He has
demonstrated his unique power and reinforced His assurance of eternal life to
those who believe and follow Him.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
Your response to
According to Gregory Boyd, “Christianity was
born in a very hostile environment. There were contemporaries who would have
refuted the Gospel portrait of Jesus—if they could have.
The leaders of Judaism in the first century saw Christianity as a pernicious
cult and would have loved to see it stamped out. And this would have been easy
to do—if the 'cult' had been based on fabrications.
Why, just bringing forth the body of the slain Jesus would have been sufficient
to extinguish Christianity once and for all.
In spite of this, however, Christianity exploded.
Even those who remained opposed to Christianity did not deny that Jesus did
miracles, and did not deny that His tomb was empty.”
(Gregory Boyd, Letters from a Skeptic [Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communication
Ministries, 2003], 85-86).
The Cross precedes the Crown.
The suffering and sacrifice of Christ come before his resurrection and victory.
To be clear: the true Gospel is not about prosperity as taught by some
It is about a life of sacrifice, giving, loving, and being just.
Whenever we put anyone, anything, any idea, any creed, or any loyalty ahead of
our loyalty to the Christ of the Cross, then we miss the true Easter celebration
of victory through suffering and sacrifice.
Meaning of Easter