The encounters with Christ are varied and diverse but they are powerful

by Derrel Emmerson

11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Romans 8:11

There is far more evidence for the resurrection of Christ than there is for most conjectures of those who deduce history from bones and digs. Conjectures are based on deductions. The resurrection is based upon living witnesses and the evidences of the Holy Spirit, who raised Christ from the dead, lives in His people in transforming power and ignites hope wherever he is present.

The resurrection of Christ is validated because his appearance was repeated over a period of 40 days, to a large number of witnesses, in different settings during which time he was touched and even ate with those who became witnesses of his resurrection.

We have to note that Luke, a deliberate person and a physician, begins his gospel with the following words:

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Furthermore, none of the early disciples could believe their eyes when Jesus appeared and had settled down into hiding because they were afraid of losing their lives from their association with Jesus. Something happened in their life which was so powerful they became fearless witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection and most of them eventually died rather than denounce what they had seen.

Eventually, we come to Paul who was an enemy of those early witnesses until he had an encounter with the risen Christ as recorded in Acts 9 by Luke the careful fact seeking physician. Paul became one of the boldest Christians and wrote these words:

1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. (I Corinthians 15:1-8)

Finally, we have centuries of people who have had encounters with Christ which were life changing for them. The testimonies go on. The life changes go on. The encounters with Christ are varied and diverse but they are powerful.

It is now a matter for each of us to respond or react which places each of us in a situation of great security or peril. We cannot simply brush aside the testimony of Christ’s resurrection as if it is just merely a subject of casual interest.

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