What if the tomb wasn’t empty? What if Mary found the stone still blocking the entrance? What if Jesus was still dead? What if...
If Jesus didn’t conquer death, then what would make Christianity different from other religions? Would Jesus have been anything more than just a martyr? If Jesus was still dead, wouldn’t he be the same as Peter, Stephen, and all the others who died in defense of Christianity? What would they have died for?
Many other religious leaders have claimed amazing truths and died. Muhammad (Islam) pointed people to Allah although he claimed to only be a man. In fact, Muhammad even admitted that he wasn’t sure if Allah would accept him after death. Buddha (Buddhism) never claimed that he could save anyone, instead he pointed them to the path of enlightenment where people could save themselves. Both of these men died and were never seen again. Joseph Smith (Mormonism) claimed to receive new revelation from God and wrote a new (and false) version of Christianity. He died in defense of his beliefs and is still dead.
Stephen was the first, recorded martyr in the New Testament. He was stoned to death. Peter was crucified for his beliefs. John the Baptist (Jesus’ cousin) had his head chopped off. In fact, almost all of the early church leaders were put to death for their beliefs and decision to follow Jesus.
If Jesus was still in the grave, then He would be the same as all of the other religious leaders who died – dead! If Jesus was still in the grave, then the early apostles would have died in defense of nothing.
What if? As Christians, we will all encounter moments of what if. The question is…what will you do when you get “what if” stuck in your head? Will it cause you to turn away from what you have learned, or will it cause you to dig deeper and find even more evidence for your faith? Will it cause you to deny Jesus or will it cause you to lean deeper in your faith?
Thank God, we don’t have to ask what if. Jesus is not still in the grave. Jesus did die for our sins. The early followers didn’t die for nothing. Your faith and beliefs are founded on truth.
Jesus is the only religious leader who claimed to be God, offered the way to salvation, paid the price himself and defeated death. No other religious leader claimed all of these. No other religious leader defeated death. No other religion requires nothing in return. Jesus only asks for belief and I hope your belief causes you to surrender all in return. I hope your belief causes you to dig deeper.
During this extra down time, do some research. Study apologetics. Dig deeper into your belief and strengthen your faith.
Advice from the author:
- Check your sources – not everything on the internet is true
- Seanmcdowell.org is a great place to start
- The Apologetics Study Bible for students can purchased on Amazon for less than $20 (I love mine)
- Talk to your leaders from church when you get stuck. Share with them what you learn. (We love these conversations!)