We Believe in the Resurrection of the Body Devotional Guide

Rev. Dr. Charley Reeb   -  

Monday: Read Matthew 27:46-50, 62-64. Over the years, people have sought to discredit the resurrection of Jesus Christ with various theories. One theory is called the Swoon Theory. The swoon theory maintains that Jesus was not really dead but only fainted on the cross. After he was laid in the tomb, the cool, damp environment of the cave revived him. Somehow Jesus had the strength after fainting to roll away a two ton stone, fight off the guards like Bruce Lee and walk away. There are biblical and practical problems with this theory. First of all, the Bible does not say Jesus fainted; it says he died. Second, the religious leaders of the day wanted to be sure Jesus was dead. They wanted his body locked up forever. In fact, they took precautions to be sure Jesus’ body never left the tomb. Third, no one who had just awakened from fainting could push away a two ton boulder and then fight through several guards stationed at the tomb.

Tuesday: Read Acts 1:3. Another claim from skeptics of the resurrection is that Jesus’ body was stolen. There are many problems with this theory too. Only two groups of people could have stolen Jesus’ body: his friends or his enemies. Let’s consider Jesus’ friends. Many of Jesus’ followers were killed because they believed he rose from the dead. If they had denounced that belief, their persecutors would have allowed them to live, but they held fast to their belief. People don’t usually die for something they know is not true. What about Jesus’ enemies? When all the rumors were flying that Jesus rose from the grave, they would have produced his body to prove everyone wrong! But no one produced a body. To this day no one has been able to produce the remains of Jesus because Jesus did rise from the dead and he is alive! In fact, the Bible says that after Jesus resurrected he walked the earth for 40 days.

Wednesday: Read John 20:19-22 and 1st Corinthians 15:6. Another theory skeptics use to discredit the resurrection is that Christ’s followers merely imagined seeing him alive. They were hallucinating. After Jesus arose, he appeared to many people. He appeared to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18) and Peter (1 Cor. 15:5)—and to small groups of people—such as the two men on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-27) and his disciples (John 20:26-29; Acts 1:3-11). The Bible says that Jesus appeared to around 500 people! Did 500 people hallucinate at the same time? Of course not. Skeptics can claim that a handful of people just imagined seeing Jesus but skeptics have a hard time refuting his appearance to 500 people! A crowd that big would not hallucinate at the same time no matter how emotional they were.

Thursday: The greatest evidence that Jesus rose from the dead can be discovered through a question: How did a handful of followers of Jesus, who were peasant fishermen, tax collectors, and farmers, multiply to one out of every three people on the planet who call themselves Christians today? How did a small group of simple men multiply into 2.18 billion people? The answer: The Resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus Christ transformed this world. Here is another way of putting it: How did a small group of followers of Christ who were scared out of their minds and denied following Jesus for fear of being killed end up changing their tune in a few days and transforming civilization? Answer: The Resurrection!

Friday: Read John 14. Jesus is alive and because he lives, we will live. We can have life now filled with love, hope, peace and meaning and life eternal with Jesus in heaven. We don’t have to be afraid of death. Jesus’ resurrection proves that. If you want the assurance of that today all you have to do is pray: Lord Jesus, thank you. I believe you rose from the dead. I believe you are alive. I surrender my life to you. I want to follow you. Forgive me of my sins and fill me with your spirit. Guide my life and give me the peace and assurance of everlasting life. Amen.