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Viewpoint from Colin Wood for 29th March 2013

Viewpoint from Colin Wood
Member of the Bethel Church

It’s real!
The events surrounding that first Easter. as recorded by the historians and eye Colin Wood Bethelwitnesses in the Bible, are intriguing to say the least.  During the three years of Jesus’ teaching, He hinted to the general public and spoke in some detail to His disciples of His death and resurrection.  The reality of this didn’t dawn on them until the last Passover meal Jesus had with them.  Events then unfolded to leave them in total shock and complete disarray.  Those hours saw a traumatic prayer time for Jesus, a dramatic betrayal and arrest, an absolute mockery of a trial, and brutal treatment climaxing in the agonising death of crucifixion.  An air of disbelief and fear gripped the disciples as they saw their Lord wrapped and laid in the tomb which was then sealed and guarded.
It was on the third day after though, that the final drama started to unfold.  Visitors to the tomb, early that morning, found the seal broken and the heavy stone rolled to one side, the guards were nowhere to be seen and a heavenly messenger announced, “He is not here, for he has risen.  This was just as Jesus predicted.
 Following this, the widely reported story in Jerusalem was that during the night, while the guards slept, His disciples came and stole the body!  The intrigue, bribery and deception exercised by the priests to support this story and suppress the truth, is almost evidence enough to confirm the resurrection.  The actions of the apostles and believers soon after these events, point also to the fact that this was real and not a made up story in order for them to save face.  Dove right
Who would be prepared to lay their lives on the line as they did or risk prison, beatings and even death if there was no truth in the resurrection story?  One of the main features of their preaching in those early days was that they were witnesses to these events.  They stood up to the rulers in the Sanhedrin, accusing them of being the murders of the Lord and perverting the course of justice by having a murderer released.  No one in their right mind sticks their neck out that far, unless they are convinced of their ground.  Many have died for what they believe to be the truth, but people do not die for what they know to be a lie!
Paul, when arguing for his freedom in a civil court in front of King Agrippa, asked “Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?”  Not only was it real historically for Paul, but he also knew the wonder of it in his personal experience:  “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection ……”  The reality of the resurrection that gripped those first century Christians can be ours today as we experience a new life in Christ.