It did happen
“For we believe that Jesus died and rose again”
1 Thessalonians 4:14 (NIVUK)
In a few weeks Christians around the world will remember two historical events, namely the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In preparation many study the New Testament passages that record what happened, and, sometimes, they get concerned because they discover slight variances between the Gospel accounts.
History is, however, often that way—full of conflicting stories surrounding something that happened. According to many historians, differing versions of the same story only underline that the central event or events happened. For example, take the story of Spartacus, the famous slave who fought against the Romans during the First Servile War. Varying accounts were recorded at the time, each reflecting the points of view and political persuasions of the writer involved. The fact that they differ in the details adds to the credibility that Spartacus did exist and that he did defeat the Romans many times before his eventual defeat.
We can approach the narratives about Christ’s sacrifice in the same way. It has been known for people to dismiss them as factual because of apparent contradictions in the minor details recorded in the Gospels. On the same basis, because of contradictions in the recording and the analysis in the news of stories such as, for example, the Syrian conflict, should we dismiss the reality of what is happening in that troubled area? Of course not: it would be nonsense. Differences in reporting and in opinion don’t necessarily undermine the truth of the main event.
Could the same be true of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection? The answer is, yes. The slight differences in the details only strengthen the truth of these events.
Let’s not ignore what must be the greatest story ever told.
As Paul stressed to the Thessalonians, Christ died and rose, and this truth is for all men and women in every age and in every place.
Father, thank you for the reality of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, and that Jesus is the Saviour, not just for those who believe, but for the whole world. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.