But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.
(Matthew 28.5-6 NRSV)
Humanity has maintained in almost every civilization this hope of eternity. Only in the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, however, did raw hope become reality.
The disciples were shocked, dismayed, disappointed at what had happened to their Master during what we now call, ironically, Holy Week. These men had left everything--family, homes, jobs--to follow him. They had even risked their very lives. Now he was gone--crucified like a common thief--buried in a borrowed tomb. When the tomb was found to be empty that first Easter morning, they were numb with disbelief. Peter and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves. Even after Christ had made appearances to many of his followers, the disciple Thomas still refused to believe--until he saw for himself the scars in Christ's hands and his feet. "My Lord and my God!" he cried in the face of undeniable evidence.
The resurrection is an historical event. It permeates the whole New Testament. Paul's account was probably the first written account. He testifies in I Corinthians 15 that the risen Christ appeared first to Peter, then to the twelve, then to more than five hundred of the brethren, some of whom were still alive, then to James, then to all the apostles and finally to Paul himself.
Sermons in the book of Acts tell us the importance of the resurrection in the preaching of the Apostles. These were all eye-witnesses. Some of these early witnesses died giving utterance to their testimony that Jesus Christ was alive!
Have you experienced Christ's resurrection?
Source: Daily Devotions