Stupid ancient people...

Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!

This unbelievable truth changes everything. Let’s face it, many of us are infected by “chronological snobbery.” C.S. Lewis coined the phrase to describe the assumption by many that people in the past were somehow inherently backward and less sophisticated than we are today, simply because they lived in the past. 

Many people take this chronological snobbery with them as they analyze the Scripture we read on Sunday. They figure that those poor uneducated, backwards Jewish people were so gullible that they all fell for an elaborate hoax surrounding the disappearance of Jesus’ body. They were such suckers that they believed he actually rose from the dead! “Ha! What simpletons!”

The thing is, the text itself paints quite a different picture. When the disciples saw Jesus die, they saw all their expectations of him becoming the next great king of Israel die as well. When they came to the tomb and found it empty, their first thought was that robbers had stolen the body. They became “perplexed” and began weeping. When the women told the disciples what they experienced, most of them just blew it off as a "wive's tale" and continued on as before. Later, Thomas, when he was told that Jesus had appeared alive, scoffed at the possibility. These ancient people were not idiots. Dead people stay dead. 

Dead people stay dead. But what they soon saw shook their faith in this fact. What are these expensive grave cloths doing here in the tomb? A grave robber would have surely stolen them. And Jesus’ little face cloth is all neatly rolled up and folded, like someone had just finished laundry. Then there were these angels… and then there was... Jesus himself. 

Jesus first appeared to Mary in the garden and her heartbreak instantaneously turned to joy. Then Jesus appears to his disciples and it changed their world. The unbelievable truth changes everything.

People will die for what they believe to be true. But people will not die for what they know is a lie. It is remarkable that this event so impacted the disciples that each and every one of them suffered great torture while maintaining their confession that they had seen the risen Christ. Ten out of the eleven would pay the ultimate price for their confession and up to the very moment of their untimely deaths confess that Christ is risen.

God has left us more than enough evidence to put our faith in the living Christ.

Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!

 

Father Kurt is the Pastor of Light of Christ Anglican Church in Georgetown, TX