Perhaps nothing in all of the history of mankind has been more controversial than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This was especially true during the first century. It appears that on that first Easter morning, no one believed that it could be possible for a man to bring Himself back to life again.
First we see that neither the Romans nor the Jewish leaders believed in Christ’s resurrection.
Matthew 27:62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. 65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
The religious leaders knew that Jesus had prophesied time and time again concerning His resurrection. After His crucifixion they went to Pilate and said: “Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’” They did not believe that Jesus would rise again. They believed that His disciples would try to steal His body and claim His resurrection. Therefore they and the Romans agreed to post guards and to seal the tomb as tightly as possible. As far as they were concerned, there would be no resurrection.
Not only did the Romans and Jewish leaders not believe in Jesus’ resurrection, neither did His followers.
John 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said unto them, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Even after many of them saw Christ in His resurrected form, they continued to doubt. Matthew’s gospel says: “And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.” (Matthew 28:17) Why was it so hard for them to believe? I believe that there are a variety of reasons:
They witnessed the horribleness of the crucifixion
They recognized the certainty of His death
They were gripped with fear
They had lost all hope
Perhaps your hope is sealed up in a tomb somewhere today. Perhaps your joy has been hidden by a stone. What can help bring you back to life again? The resurrected life of Christ can. Consider these words from our Savior-
“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.” (John 11:25-26 NLT)
Let Jesus come today and roll away the stone.