Monday, 9 April 2012


 Ever since the angel said ‘He (Jesus) is risen’ critics have sprung up to say it didn’t happen, couldn’t happen, wouldn’t happen or shouldn’t happen. Among the first were the group who arranged for Christ’s crucifixion. They are the ‘Hysterical Critics’. All they had to do was arrange daily tours to the sealed tomb to prove their point. If on the other hand the claim was the body snatchers had done their work, a trial would have won their day.

Since that first century we could call the next group of doubters the ‘Historical Critics’. As they look back on this event and put it into their perception of events from that era they come to two views. One view is Jesus didn’t exist. The other is He did exist but one way or another He died and His bones are still in the tomb.

Strange how these critics, with their inevitable sense of superior insights, call into question the character, veracity and suffering of those who agreed with the angel’s declaration. Remember, the apostles and others had no vested interest in promoting an untruth. Their conviction that Jesus had risen and ascended to glory, as Scripture foretold, landed them into all shades of strife. Disowned by family, ostracised by their nation, persecuted by foe and friend and ultimately ‘enjoying’ a horrible death must say something.

What do you think it says? They were deluded? All of them, all the time, under all types of testing? They knew the truth, experienced the wonder, and were willing to stand true to the facts!

As you read history and the numerous, sceptical critics comments about Christ Jesus and the empty tomb, one thing stands out! All want to put Him back in the tomb. He is less confronting there. The trouble comes when He keeps breaking out from their prison. Truth seekers still meet Him in the course of their search and rise up, sometimes at great personal cost, to prove the critics wrong.

“He is risen” is the testimony of history.
“He is risen” is the declaration of faith.
“He is risen” is the verdict of research.
“He is risen” is the challenge to critics.

Ray (convinced He is risen) Hawkins

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