J. de Ruiter, Pentecostal Pastor and Teacher in The Netherlands
Did He really came back from the dead? Some react with a: “Complete nonsense, that story of the resurrection! The dead never come back to life.” Others who want to be more polite say: “It was the way of the apostles to keep courage, because only so would the three-and-a-halve years with Jesus not have been in vain.” Many modern, liberal theologians think that Jesus actually had not really been but almost dead.
A new life after death as Jesus demonstrated it according to the Gospels is beyond our comprehension and certainly cannot scientifically be explained. He was after some days suddenly in good health apparently, though he had the scars of the inflictions of the crucifixion. He appeared suddenly in a room while the doors were shut and disappeared without leaving a trace behind him. He ascended to heaven; the law of gravity did not hold him to the ground.
The apostle Paul addressed the wise philosophers of his days and they listened with great interest. When he however came on the subject of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we read in Acts 17:32, their patience came to end and they began to ridicule him. The patience of Paul was however seemingly also exhausted for he walked to Corinth, a city with a seaport where the word of his preaching fell into fertile ground. That that fertile ground was the hearts of laborers in the town and harbor, common people, was an indication for him that God had chosen the poor and weak to be saved too. (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
Many have admitted that the historical fast growth of Christianity would not have been possible without the phenomenon of the resurrection. How impossible it may seem to some: Jesus must indeed have been raised from the death. If he was not raised the Christian faith would not have made a chance to survive the first century. A thorough, honest study of the New Testament and early Christian literature points very, very clearly in the direction of the truth of the resurrection; there can absolutely be no doubt about. The conclusion that the resurrection of Christ is an historical fact has led even antagonistic atheists to faith in Christ. The apostles gave testimony with great power to the resurrection (Acts 4:33). That power of their testimony and preaching came into action from the moment that the Holy Spirit fell upon them. Before that moment that had kept quiet. though Christ was risen and ascended to heaven. But after the power of the Holy Spirit had fallen upon them they spoke about Jesus with great fearlessness and power.
If you are a Christian it is also your privilege to speak about the risen Christ, as the God appointed Savior and Lord. The Holy Spirit wants to give you too an untamable energy and a drive that must be obeyed to testify about Jesus. You do not need to wait for Him till the feast of Pentecost as we celebrate this every year for the Holy Spirit has came and everybody who allows Him to fill him with His presence and power, will receive. Receive the Spirit and speak about Christ and the great things He is doing, even today. For Christ is risen indeed and lives today!
Pastor T. J. de Ruiter in The Netherlands, 28 March 2009
T. J. de Ruiter