Some people think that the resurrection of Jesus means that he continues to live on in people’s minds. Is that what the Bible also means, or should we take the resurrection literally?

A large part of the Muslims think that it was not Jesus who was crucified, but that the traitor, Judas, miraculously looked like Jesus. According to them, the traitor was then crucified and Jesus was quickly brought to God, for God would never let his prophet suffer like this.

What is true and how do you find out?

We will have to rely on the reports of witnesses who were present at the time. Those were the disciples. The Gospels are eyewitness accounts. How, then, do we know that we have the original writings? We know this because there are more than 5,000 manuscripts, parts of the New Testament that are exactly the same in content. These pieces have been found in a wide range and were written between 125 and 1516 AD. Even non-religious scholars do not doubt the authenticity of the source from the point of view of textual criticism. The texts in Greek and Latin are based on the original texts in Greek of the apostles. The oldest passage is a passage from the Gospel of John and is dated to 125 AD. This piece of text is called Papyrus 52 (P52). In addition, there are also sources outside the New Testament that confirm that Jesus lived and performed miracles. Both the Roman historian, Tacitus, and the Jew, Josephus Flavius, wrote about Him.

But how do we know if the disciples have recorded the truth? First of all, it is not an account of the exploits of the apostles. They come off poorly in the Gospels. Often they don’t get it and they are not always brave, even a bit timid here and there. The apostles had no interest in the distribution of these Gospels. Yet, shortly after Jesus’ resurrection, we see that the record is completed at a time when many people who had experienced it and seen all of it, are still alive. The writings are copied and disseminated at lightning speed. The public accepted this rapidly. Of the 12 apostles, 11 were martyred. They did not want to abandon their testimony and firmly believed in the literal resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Who is willing to die for a lie? In addition, as many as 500 people saw Jesus at the same time after his resurrection. The writer of the letter (Corinth letter, written around 56 AD) in which this is written at the time gave this advice to his audience: ”Just think about it, look up those people. They are still alive. Just check if it is as I write”.

What, then, does this death and resurrection refer to? Can it be explained by promises that have been given to the people before? The Bible is a collection of 66 books. The first volume has 39 and the second volume 27 books. These books were written over a period of 1500 years by about 40 different authors. In the ancient scriptures (Isaiah 7), God promises that His Son will be born of a virgin some 600 years before it actually happens. Throughout the Old Testament often sacrifices are described that the people had to make in order to be able to obtain forgiveness. John, when he sees Jesus, says, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”. In Isaiah 53 it says: “The punishment that brought us  peace was upon Him”. It also describes very specific events that had to come true. Some 1,000 years before the coming of Christ, it was already stated that they would play dice for his clothes (Psalm 22). And so there are so many prophecies that have come true during the lifetime of Jesus. By the way, all those texts from the Old Testament are at least older than 250 BC because then they translated all 39 books into Greek, the world language of that time.

Finally, in the Gospel, Jesus regularly announces his death and resurrection. The question then is why? What was the reason that God’s Son had to suffer such a horrible death? So it wasn’t something that happened to Him. He consciously chose to experience this. Do you want to know why he did this? He did it for you! God wants you to be with Him. But you and I are guilty before God. Only a flawless sacrifice can remove that guilt. The Scripture had to come true. It was already foretold. He willingly undergoes a false trial of accusations, and at the same time He knows that this is the path He must and wants to take. It’s God’s way of being able to forgive you and me. In this way, God is both just and loving. The fact that Jesus rises from the dead again shows his authority over death and evil. He has conquered!

The question is, “Will you share in His victory for you?” Jesus offers it and He will not force it on you. He offers you the opportunity to make peace with God, the Creator of heaven and earth. Through Jesus, you gain access to such a quality of life where there is no such thing as dullness, but there is love, courage, strength and true happiness. How beautiful is that! All Jesus wants is to acknowledge who He is and to entrust your life to Him. You can do this in a simple and sincere prayer by saying: “Jesus, thank you for dying for me on the cross. You have carried away my guilt. I want to turn away from what is evil in your eyes and entrust myself to you. Help me to follow you and be faithful to you. Amen”.

Have a wonderful Easter, everyday of your life!


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