Using the Resurrection to Share Christ
By Rev. John B. Sorensen
Have you ever tried to share your faith with someone who doesnít believe Jesus rose from the dead? The resurrection of Jesus is the hinge of Christianity. Without it, salvation cannot exist.
So how do we share our faith when we encounter people who believe the resurrection didnít happen?
The Empty Tomb
The location of the tomb was well known at the time. Many people reported seeing it empty, not just the disciples. Even Roman officials tried to explain the absence of His body. But even more amazing is that more than 500 people reported that they saw Jesus alive afterwards. They touched Him. They talked to Him. Can that many eyewitnesses be false?
Point out: Christís resurrection from the dead proved Christís power to defeat death and Godís acceptance of His sacrifice on our behalf.
The Behavior of the Disciples
After the crucifixion, the disciples scattered. They were scared. Their lives were in danger. Then suddenly, their behavior changed. They boldly proclaimed that Jesus had risen from the dead. Their words would cost them their lives. How can we explain this dramatic change? No one dies for what they know to be a lie, and yet all the disciples, without exception, went to their graves without ever recanting what they saw and believed.
Point out: Throughout history, peopleís lives are being changed after meeting Jesus, including mine. The Gospel transforms us from the inside out. We act and talk differently. You and I are living proof that Jesus still exists and changes lives today.†
The Growth of the Church
After the resurrection, the early church expanded rapidly in Jerusalem Ė a place that was steeped in centuries of religious custom. Most scholars agree that changes in cultures and worldviews happen slowly, over time. New ideas have to percolate and rise from creation to general consensus to acceptance. That didnít happen in the early church. Overnight, the day of worship changed from Saturday (the Sabbath) to Sunday (the Lordís Day) and thousands chose to follow Jesus.
Invite: Even today, church attendance spikes tremendously during Christmas and Easter. Many people are open to attending church on these holidays than any other time of the year. Invite someone to join you for a special program or service to learn more about the real meaning of Easter or simply share more of your personal story over coffee or a casual dinner. Perhaps this the year, they may be ready to meet Jesus for the first time.
Thereís no better time to begin sharing your faith than today.
Rev. John B. Sorensen, D.D. is the President/CEO of Evangelism Explosion International, headquartered in Arden, N.C. EE has been a leader in equipping Christians to share their faith for more than 50 years. For more free tips and resources, visit evangelismexplosion.org.