Did Jesus really arise from the dead? Is it fake news or good news? Does it matter? Does it matter to you? Why should it matter? Study these scriptures for yourself and let God’s word speak to you today.
“It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was Passover week). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also may continue to believe. )” John 19:31-35 NLT
To ensure death, the soldiers pierced his side, both blood and water poured out. If only blood had come out it would indicate Jesus was still alive. Blood and water flowing out together only happens when someone is dead. It’s not symbolic. It’s not spiritual. It simply confirms the reality of the literal death of Jesus. Christ was definitely dead.
So Jesus really died but three days later, we are told, his body was not to be found in the tomb! Is this fake news or good news?
“As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today.” Matthew 28:11-15 NLT
Even the enemies of Jesus admitted the tomb was empty! Rather than refute the claim, they tried to make up a story about why his body wasn’t there. It was a weak excuse and, in effect through it, conceding that the tomb was empty. Confirming still that Jesus’ resurrection is Good news not fake news!
Further, many witnesses saw Jesus alive over many weeks after the crucifixion. These were from all sorts of backgrounds and in various places. In one setting, about 500 eyewitnesses saw Jesus at the same time. He was alive! Consider that the church grew out of very city were Jesus had been crucified just weeks earlier. How did it grow? It grew from the claim Jesus had come back to life. If that claim was fake news, no one in that city would believe the disciples. Instead “Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day — about 3,000 in all.” Acts 2:41. If many who wanted him dead and saw him die, turned and believed on him just a few weeks later, this helps validate the resurrection and is indeed good news.
One final thought: the history of how His followers lived, and how His followers died is evidence to me that the resurrection of Jesus is true. Their stories, are the most telling facts that testify of Christ’s resurrection. These men, who had a run in fear when Jesus was crucified, now rallied around the “fake news” of the resurrection? They were persecuted for the rest of their lives for a shared lie and not one recanted. The idea that they were willing to die for a known lie, fake news, is beyond my comprehension. Nobody came clean? I’m not buying that at all. Not one of these founding disciples changed their testimony that Jesus had risen from the grave? Why? Because they were witnesses that Christ had risen indeed!
Scott Lee is a pastor at Bethesda Worship Center.