And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept (Matthew 28:12–13, KJV)
Hallelujah, Jesus rose from the dead! This is wonderful, but it is truth that Satan has been fighting to cover from the very first day of the resurrection. Let me quickly show you why the resurrection is so significant and how Satan has been working to cover it.
As I stated already, the resurrection is a crucial aspect of Christ’s work. If Jesus died and did not resurrect, not a single human being would have been saved ( 1 Cor. 15:22). Jesus was not the only man that was crucified the way He was. We must recognize this truth. So the crucifixion itself did not reveal anything extra-ordinary about Jesus. Mysteries were taking place on the cross but they were spiritual and not visible to the ordinary human being. There were few supernatural physical phenomena. Even with that, no religious leader in the world has ever laid down His life for the people like Jesus did.
The resurrection, however, is different. It immediately declares Jesus as divine, God, not an ordinary man ( Rom. 1:4). Religious leaders have arisen over the centuries and died. Even today, there are people killing others and even willing to die for false religious beliefs. However, not one human being has ever risen from the dead. It has not happened in history, and will not happen. Secondly, the resurrection is proof of Satan’s disgraceful defeat by Jesus. When Jesus died and went to hell, He conquered Satan and death. But no human being alive knew about it. When He came out of the grave, it was a public display of Satan’s disgraceful defeat( Col. 2:15). These are just two quick points that make the resurrection such a prominent event. Satan is trying really hard to cover this event, that is, hide it from people. Let me quickly show you how he has been trying to do this.
In Matt. 28:12-13 above, the Chief priests and religious leaders who had pushed for Jesus to be crucified bribed the guards who had seen with their own eyes the actual event of the resurrection to lie to the people that the disciples came and stole Him away by night while they slept. Can there be any troubling hardening of human hearts against the truth than this? Even in the face of the resurrection, the religious leaders will prefer to cover the truth than acknowledge they were wrong. They gave the people a story to believe to replace the truth. Let me give you a contemporary example. Hollywood has produced movies of the suffering and death of Jesus. I remarked quite early how these movies portrayed Jesus suffering and death so vividly but almost never vividly portrayed His resurrection in the same way Why? His suffering and death by themselves are not unusual historical events. But the resurrection will immediately force people to see what they do not want to believe: Jesus is the Son of God, God revealed in the flesh to save people from their sins and judgment in hell.
The same pattern of replacing the truth and giving people something else to believe continues today. Could you imagine that Easter today in many circles is about some Easter bunny and an egg? We would be very naive not to see the spiritual implications of these things that look so innocent outwardly. For example, our kids will be taught about the bunny and an egg rather than the resurrection of Jesus. The Jewish leaders gave the Jews a story to replace the resurrection that Jesus’ disciples came and stole Him at night while the guards were sleeping.
The resurrection story is the cruciality of the work of Christ. It is proof that the divine nature now dwells in you. It is proof that Satan has been publicly disgraced and you have been put in authority. It is proof that you are a new creation, old things are passed away and all things have become new. It is a report of the assurance of your victory in life. It is the event that proofs that Christianity is not just a religious for people to follow. It is the story of God coming down as Savior to save all human beings from the horrors of hell. It forces us to know that sin is not just a mistake, and that hell and heaven are not fancy religious ideas. Satan does not want these. Do not keep the resurrection hidden. Tell it to the world. Do not tell your kids about some bunny and an egg in Easter. Tell them about the resurrection of Jesus from death. Destroy Satan’s plans of covering the resurrection of Christ!
I want you to think about this carefully: why is it that unbelievers who acted and directed many “Jesus” movies will not have major difficulties talking of the crucifixion of Christ for their audience but hesitate to portray the resurrection in the same way vividly?
APPLY THE WORD
Keep the death and resurrection of Jesus fresh on your mind at all times. Proclaim His resurrection. I have shared a couple of times why the world cannot celebrate Jesus. If they celebrate Jesus, they are no longer the world but the Church. They need other stories to celebrate that will replace Jesus. We are the ones to give easter its real meaning. Rejoice, for He is risen. Proclaim it!
Pray that God will enable you to do the work of an evangelist, that is, showing the world that Jesus rose from the dead!