Updated: Apr 10
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
Mark 16:1-8 (ESV)
Perhaps one of the best and most compelling accounts of what the resurrection of Christ has done and could do. if found in the book Christ In Your Life by Leslie Brandt. Sadly the book is out of print, but a few stray copies are available on Amazon and other used book dealers. I would like to share a few excerpts from the chapter entitled "If I Really Believed."
in those hours that followed the burial of Jesus,
that Christianity died with the Christ
and was laid with him in the sepulcher.
There was not a single human being who believed
they would ever see him again.
What remained for the disciples but to return
to their homes and their fishing nets
as disappointed and disillusioned men,
and try their best to forget
the whole amazing experience?
There never were men more utterly depressed and dispirited
than were the disciples of Christ
following His crucifixion.
Then something happened.
A few hours later, and these same men
were full of confidence and joy.
Their faith in Jesus had revived,
and Christianity had a far greater vitality
then ever before.
The once defeated and disillusioned disciples
now became men sent out for world conquest.
They who had once sought for thrones
were not fearlessly expecting persecution and death.
Christ's death had cowed, discouraged, terrified,
and defeated them.
Now they were virtually transfigured and transformed.
They were new men, ready to go boldly into the very city
that had crucified their leader
and proclaim Him and Savior of the World.
Ordinary, fallible, blundering men, they were changed
from inferior failures into flaming messengers.
They had passed from doubt to assurance,
from faltering to fidelity, from fear to faith,
from cowardice to courage.
Theirs was no longer a subjective hope,
but a glorious reality.
Their faith was no longer a consoling convenience
but a consuming compassion.
They were filled with new power;
they proclaimed a new message;
they sang a new song.
Christ had risen from the dead!
What was the change that had taken place
in these disciples?
What was the reason for this fantastic transformation?
It was obviously that
as Christ had been raised from the dead,
so they had risen into new life and experience.
In a strange and incomprehensible sense,
they shared in Christ's risen life.
For me, this is one of the greatest "proofs" of Christs' resurrection, that a group of rabbi followers would be willing to endure anything, even lay down their lives before they would deny their Lord. They were truly changed men, but that was 2,000 years ago, what about today? What about my life? Leslie Brandt further on reflects on this same question when he writes:
If I really believed in the living Christ,
He would be the most important factor of my life.
He would take over first place
among all loyalties and allegiances.
All things else in my life --
values, loves, affections--
would be but stepping-stones to that One
who occupies the throne of the heart,
the living Christ.
If I really believed that Jesus lives,
my life would be filled with joy unspeakable,
I would not be overly anxious about the morrow.
The joy that comes out of my relationship with Him
would be far greater and more satisfying
that all the foolish, short-lived thrills
this world has to offer.
It would be a peace and assurance that would
in some measure
be a witness to the world,
that might even fill others about me
with envy and longing
and draw them to its same Source,
the living Christ.
If I really believed in the resurrected Christ,
no problem or difficulty, weakness or sin,
no insufficiency or inadequacy could destroy me.
I would know and experience
in that power that raised Christ from the grave
the grace to overcome my thwarting frailties
and know that the God who did that colossal,
prodigious act of might and glory
would not find my problems to difficult,
that there is available to me
the same resurrection power
that brought Christ to life again,
that the only thing that could possible limit
God's resurrection power in my life
is my stubborn unwillingness
to commit my faults and failures,
along with my life
Whatever might be considered as evidences
of the resurrection of Jesus,
the most effective is the witness of God's Spirit
in the hearts of all who will believe,
the resurrection of the living Christ
in the lives of those who follow and obey Him.
It is the kind of evidence
that cannot be denied or disputed.
It can, however, be experienced in my life --
as it has been by unnumbered thousands before me.
I could not say it any better myself - thanks Leslie! The subtitle to Leslie Brandt's book Christ In Your Life is "What God's Good News Can Do for You"