Have you ever been to court or seen one on TV or in the movies? How do lawyers make their case? They look for evidence (things they can link to the crime) and eyewitnesses (reliable people who saw what really happened.)
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says to talk about God’s Word with your family. Why not do it now as we look at some eyewitnesses for Jesus’ resurrection? Call the kids and get ready to dig into the Bible with this week’s family Bible study.
Some people say Jesus is just a fairy tale (like Cinderella) and He isn’t real. (See this post and this vide0.) Other people say He really lived, but there’s no way He could do everything the Bible says He did—especially not come back to life! We will look at some hard evidence in two weeks, but let’s start by looking for some reliable eyewitnesses who saw for themselves what really happened.
(Read the full report in Matthew 27:57-28:15.)
The job of the guards was to make sure that Jesus’ body stayed in the grave. If they didn’t, they would be severely punished, maybe even put to death.
These men felt the earth quake and saw the angel of the Lord roll away the big stone covering the entrance to the grave (which was like a cave). These tough soldiers were so scared that they fainted.
They saw the whole thing. They’d make great witnesses, right? There’s just one little problem. They lied about it to make money and stay out of trouble (staying alive in the process). Would the guards make reliable witnesses? Why or why not?
These ladies had followed Jesus and listened to His teaching. They saw Him die on the cross and followed to see where He was buried. They were rushed the day Jesus died, so early Sunday morning they planned to finish getting Jesus body ready to stay in the grave. Instead of Jesus’ body, they found an angel who told them Jesus had come back to life. Mary Magdalene even talked to Jesus Himself!
The news the women rushed back to tell seemed too good to be true. Jesus disciples did not believe them when they heard. Peter and John even ran to the tomb to check the facts for themselves. Were the women reliable witnesses? Why or why not?
Jesus’ Twelve Disciples
These scaredy-cats were huddled up together, hiding behind locked doors when Jesus came to them to show He was alive again. They wondered at first if Jesus was a ghost, but He ate with them and let Thomas touch His hands and feet. Would the disciples make reliable witnesses? Why or why not?
Over 500 Other People
Jesus came, talked to, and ate with two disciples walking on the road (Luke 24:13-35). He went fishing, had breakfast, and talked with His disciples (John 21:1-24). Jesus dramatically appeared to Saul, changed his name to Paul, and got him to stop hurting Christians. Paul became a whole-hearted follower of Jesus (Acts 9:1-30 and 21:17-20).
Paul said: “I gave you the message that I received. I told you the most important truths: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say; that he was buried and was raised to life on the third day, as the Scriptures say; and that he appeared to Peter and then to the twelve apostles. After that Christ appeared to more than 500 other believers at the same time. Most of them are still living today, but some have died. Then he appeared to James and later to all the apostles. Last of all, he appeared to me. I was different, like a baby born before the normal time” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8 ERV).
Would all of these people make reliable witnesses? Why or why not?
Next week in our Dig In Devo, we’ll look closer at some of these witnesses. What about you? How have you seen Jesus work in your life? What testimony can you give about Jesus? All it takes is telling what you know about Jesus.