Facing the times that we find ourselves in, we often have more questions than answers. I know I do. There are other times, however, where we believe we have everything figured out, but things don’t always seem to go according to plan.
It may have been the latter scenario that a handful of eyewitnesses found themselves, in what may be the greatest story ever told. To set the scene, we have to travel back in time over 2000 years ago.
So, a man who claimed to be divine was falsely accused and sentenced to death without a proper trial. Eyewitnesses at the scene saw him die an excruciating death by crucifixion that lasted approximately six hours. After his body was then buried in a borrowed tomb, the eyewitnesses returned home. Three days later, it was reported by these same eyewitnesses that the tomb was now empty.
The four E’s
I was talking with former atheist turned apologist Lee Strobel recently, with whom I had the wonderful opportunity to discuss this very event that happened in history. According to Strobel, he characterises this particular event in history to what he calls four “E’s”. Firstly, the Execution was an undeniably historical fact, and the eyewitnesses confirm that he was dead at the scene.
Secondly, Early accounts show written evidence to support the claim that his body was buried nearby. Thirdly, the Empty tomb is proof that no one, since that particular date in time, has ever been able to locate his body. Fourthly, the Eyewitnesses spread this message far and wide, and their testimony has become recorded in the bestselling book of all time, known as the Bible.
So how is it that Jesus is often the most questioned figure in human history?
As Strobel tells me, he also began his journey as a legal editor for the Chicago Tribune asking similar questions regarding the authenticity of Jesus’ death and resurrection, until, one day, he decided to find out the facts for himself. Over the span of two years, the amount of evidence collected, the first-hand accounts uncovered, and the testimonies identified, led to one irrefutable fact that the story of Jesus, his death and his resurrection was in fact, completely true.
This changed everything for Strobel and put him on a life trajectory he never imagined.
Our future secure
In life, we often have some things that we can see coming, and others that are completely out of the blue. There are challenges that bring us to our knees, literally. But in the moments when we fall, we can often find the courage to rise again.
Perhaps there are times when you can’t see the end from the beginning. It may be that you wish you knew a hope beyond the circumstances you find yourself in. Strobel confided that, “at times, we start to have what I call ‘spiritual amnesia’...but we can have living hope that is, in fact, tied to the resurrection”. It is this hope that causes us to look beyond our circumstances to a future hope that helps us acknowledge the past and move forward in the present.
“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy” (Psalm chapter 94 verses 18-19).
Our future is always secure when we know the One who is in control.
Joseph Kolapudi's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/joseph-kolapudi.html