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Opening THE Book with Rev John K-S April 2022

REV JOHN K-S 05-2021Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston


Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Let’s look at what the Bible says. One fact cannot be contested: Jesus was crucified by the Romans in about AD33 and was dead and buried. (The 1st century Roman historian Tacitus and Jewish historian Josephus confirm this) The four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, give detailed accounts of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. St Paul, writing to the Corinthians about 20 years later, wrote, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, he was buried, he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time...Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also”

When St Paul wrote the above, most of those witnesses to the resurrection would have still been alive and could have been questioned. What is certain is that these witnesses truly believed that they had seen and met with Jesus after he had been killed. The Bible gives other evidence to the resurrection of Jesus. The tomb where he was buried on Friday was found to be empty the following Sunday. The authorities tried to cover this up. On at least three occasions, Jesus had predicted that he would be killed and then be raised back to life
All these pieces of evidence could be challenged, but there is one piece of evidence that cannot be disputed and that is the extraordinary change in Jesus’ followers after Easter Day. Here were a small group of men and women who had seen their leader crucified by the Romans at the instigation of their own Jewish authorities. Disillusioned, grieving, and afraid, all of their hopes, that Jesus was the Messiah sent by God, had come to an end. Yet within days, these same people were boldly and fearlessly proclaiming that Jesus had been raised to life by God. Over the next few years, many would give up their lives for this Jesus – and this has continued ever since. A small religious movement grew, often under severe persecution, to claim millions upon millions of followers. The Bible says that Jesus was raised from the dead and is alive for ever. Can all of his followers be wrong? Happy Easter!


published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine


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