Friday, March 29, 2013

Rumors of the Empty Tomb

Easter is the time that we celebrate the death of Death in the death of Christ.
Easter proves that Christmas was real. The cozy, warmth of the manger scene becomes the brutal horror of the crucifixion. The cross looked like defeat to all but God, but in truth, it was hidden victory. Jesus, the sinless God/man, became sin on our behalf to win us righteous standing before God. He disarmed Satan our accuser, cancelling the written code that condemned us. He won us uninterrupted life with His Father.

The cross looked like defeat, but it was victory concealed. The resurrection was victory revealed but the war had truly been won at the cross.
Jesus’ resurrection proved that death had no hold on him, and therefore no hold on those who would believe in him for salvation. It also proved that all authority had been given to him. There was no name in heaven or earth higher or stronger than Jesus’ name. Jesus spent 40 days appearing to his disciples, proving to them that he was fully alive, allowing them to touch him, eat with him, examine him. And he taught them about His Kingdom.

In the mean time, the chief priests had started a rumor, bribing the soldiers guarding the tomb to say that the disciples had stolen Jesus' body. Despite this, no anti-Christian writer in the first 2 Centuries AD denied that the tomb was empty. Amidst a conspiracy theory and intense persecution, the number of Christians grew from a little band of believers in AD33, to 27 million by 300AD. Why do you think that was? Certainly, one reason was the quality of the lives of those who followed Jesus. If this was a conspiracy, why were people willing to die for it? Why were their lives so unrecognizeable before and after faith in Jesus. Even those who persecuted the early disciples admitted that their lives were remarkable.

The disciples would be a ‘show and tell’ to the world. The rumors of the empty tomb were confirmed by the transformed lives of the disciples.

This Friday and Sunday, at Southlands Church, we are going to spread four rumors of the empty tomb. Four lives transformed by the power of the Gospel. Two rumors are ancient, and two are recent.
On Friday we will spread the rumors of Mary Magdalene and Kristen Roark.
On Sunday, we will spread the rumors of Peter the fisherman and Carl Tuttle.
They are sure to confirm your suspicion that Christ is indeed risen from the dead.
We would love it if you joined us.

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