I have always wondered about the cynics and non-believers. What do they do at Easter? Have you ever wondered about that? On that day when the Christian church joyfully celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, what do they do. Humanism is all right for the classroom, but it leaves you nothing at an icy graveside. It is precisely at that point that Christianity responds: Yes, we shall see our loved ones again and all be reunited.
Some demand that they need proof and documentation. I wonder what kind proof that they desire. There is more documented evidence that Jesus Christ rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived. There is more evidence of the resurrection than there is that Alexander the Great died at age 33. I have always found it interesting that some will accept thousands of facts for which there are only shreds of evidence, but in the face of overwhelming evidence of the resurrection they cast a skeptical doubt, because it is so unique. We say that we want the facts. Well the facts are that in the history of the ancient world the resurrection has been attested to as much as most of the events that we routinely accept and read in the history books.
In the early nineties the ABC news show 20/20 had an interesting segment on the shroud of Turin. If you were completely out of touch at that time and have not heard of the shroud of Turin, let me tell you that it is supposed to be the cloth that Jesus was buried in. And on this cloth is an imprint of the person of Jesus. It is now housed in a cathedral in Turin, Italy. Several years ago, an international team of scientists, consisting of Christians, Jews, Moslems, and non-believers, set about to prove or disprove the story behind this ancient cloth. The results of their findings were published in an issue of National Geographic magazine.
The interesting thing to me about the 20/20 story was an interview that they had with one of the scientists, an Air Force colonel who was a specialist in laser technology. He openly admitted that he began the project not only as a non-Christian, but as a person who was openly anti-religious. I relished this opportunity, he said, to debunk what I considered a childish myth. Geraldo Rivera asked him: “Now that you have spent four years on this project what is your response?” His response not only shocking, but it was shocking that 20/20 allowed it to go on the air. He said: “After four years on this project, I now fall upon my knees and worship a resurrected Christ.”
It would be nice if we could hold some physical evidence in our hands to prove it all, but I would mislead you this Easter Day if I left the impression that the resurrection was a matter of fact. For in the end, the resurrection is a religious belief. In the end you cannot prove it or disprove it. And that is why some brilliant people believe and why some brilliant people do not believe. Because you cannot prove it one way or the other. There just are not any photographs. In the end we must fall back upon the words of the resurrected Christ to the disciple Thomas: “Thomas, you have believed because you have seen. Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe.”
Have a blessed and joyful Easter!!