The Easter message, despite its familiarity, remains one of the most incompletely understood of the foundations of the Christian faith. To celebrate the resurrection with flowers, music, and a special sermon is all very fitting. But as Floyd V. Filson said in Jesus Christ the Risen Lord, “There is a fatal weakness in our modern emphasis on Easter. The emphasis is, of course, true to the Gospel message; the Resurrection is central. But too many Christians begin to look to a long summer vacation once they have had a ‘big Easter.’ For the first Christians, the Resurrection was not the end of the story; it was the climax which leads on to further momentous developments.”
Of no other great religious leader except Jesus Christ can it be said, “He showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3). Such a thing cannot possibly be claimed for Moses, who died before entering the Promised Land. Nor can it be said of Confucius, who ended his days a disillusioned old man. Neither can it be asserted of Buddha or Lao-Tze, Zoroaster or Muhammad. They too went the way of other men, and their followers have never dared claim that they left the grave.
Christ is different. His work has a unique consummation and continuance. Just as no other religion aside from Christianity has a founder who arose from the dead, so no other religion has a founder who died for the sin of the world and who continues to save all who put their trust in him.
“But,” someone says—and there are many who are saying it today—“all this is mere assertion. It’s all very well to declare that Jesus Christ is unique because he alone rose from the dead. But we want more than assertion. We want proof.”
There is proof, if we will but look at the evidence. ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 63+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more