Since the dawn of creation until today no one apart from Jesus of Galilee has ever come back from the dead on his own power.
There have been truly remarkable men and women who have walked this earth and accomplished great works — creating empires, establishing dynasties, giants in architecture, in literature, music, philosophy and science. But no one, even those who pretended to be gods, has ever recovered from the gripping experience of being dead.
Jesus of Galilee said he would rise from the dead, and He did! Wise men of old had foretold that there would be such a man, and the Jews of his time looked forward to the coming of such a Messiah. But many did not recognize him, and did not accept or believe him.
Jesus came and lived among them and did many astonishing works to validate his power and authority. But the Jewish leaders saw him as a threat to their authority. They plotted against him and demanded his death.
“It is better for you that one man should die instead of the people so that the whole nation may not perish!” their leader Caiphas said to them. He was of course speaking for himself to protect his own prestige and power among the people, not realizing that he himself was being used as an instrument of God’s plan for the redemption of mankind.
Jesus submitted to their will because submission was also part of his plan. He endured their punishment and after indescribable torture, died, nailed to a wooden cross.
But he rose from the dead, just as he said he would! He was seen by thousands in Jerusalem and in Galilee, where he invited his Apostles to join him. The historical evidence of his death and resurrection is beyond dispute.
By this singular and miraculous act of rising from the dead Jesus conquered death, restored life and established his credentials as Messiah and Redeemer.
Jesus is alive! He is risen! And he has promised that those men and women who believe in Him will share his life, and will also be raised from the dead.
This is the promise of Easter. It is the reason why so many people all over the world celebrate – because they believe in Jesus and trust in His word.