There was a lot of press comment to the recent survey conducted by the BBC about Easter and in particular the question whether you believed in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The stat which caused most concern or potentially delight amongst those commenting was that seemingly 25% of Christians did not believe the Biblical account of the resurrection.
I am not alone in people being cynical about surveys but I am a bit surprised by the stat. I'm surprised it's not a lot higher to be honest. We live in a country where people will describe themselves as Christians but if you have a conversation with them - they will know nothing about the person they say they follow and even more concerning - they don't actually know him. Their christianity is about family tradition, church association or the fact that they were christened as a child.
Just a short time after The Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead Paul was preaching in Athens and he spoke about the resurrection. Look at the response from those listening.
When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” At that, Paul left the Council. Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed.
Almost two thousand years on. People are no different.
I think I would be on safe ground in saying there is probably no event in history from this time around Jesus death, burial and resurrection where there is so much 1st person testimony. If the resurrection had gone to court to prove its validity it would have been accepted with so many witnesses. Some of whom by the way, are from 3rd party writings outside of the Bible. Please note, I'm not saying they are more credible in terms of accepting what happened. My faith and trust are based on what the bible says and my own personal knowledge of my Saviour and Lord.
Back to those who would describe themselves as "Christians". The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a life-changing event. It validates all that Jesus said and did. It means all He said was true. In fact, He would describe himself as Truth. This being the case those who are Christians will be living lives that reflect they are followers of Him. You cannot be a Christian and say you don't believe in the resurrection. I am a Christian today because He was the first to be raised from the dead.
As I said earlier. People saying they did not believe in the resurrection are not new. Look at what Paul writes to the church in Corinth about this very subject.
1 Corinthians 15:12-22
The Resurrection of the Dead
But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
It is a matter of faith. Faith based on what God has said and the evidence that exists around what took place in Jerusalem.
Don't accept the view from a 3rd party or someone with an agenda. Look into the resurrection of Jesus for yourself. Make up your own mind.
I leave you with a song about the resurrection. It depicts Peter's experience when he first discovered Jesus was alive. Peter was never the same again. Later on in the bible it says about him and his 11 other colleagues that they turned the world upside down because of the message they preached.
Incidentally this is another proof of the resurrection. We celebrate Easter this weekend. Celebrating a commoner who lived a life of poverty until He Died......and then arose!