A friend of mine was worried; he thought I’d lost my head.
He came to me one evening, and this is what he said.
I know you follow Jesus; your faith is very strong.
I think you’ve lost your reason! How could you be so wrong?
How can you follow Jesus, when you know that He has died?”
“Because He came to life again,” I quietly replied.
“The dead do not come back,” he said. “It simply isn’t true.
He tricked the people of His day, and now He’s fooled you, too.
He was drugged or quite unconscious when
they laid Him in the tomb.
Somehow He woke and then escaped.
That’s what I assume.”
I spoke up in amazement, “Just how could this be done?
He loosened heavy grave clothes and unwrapped them one by one?
He pushed aside a heavy stone, with hands so badly scarred?
With wounded hands and feet and side He overcame the guard?
“And that brings up another point: the deep wound in His side.
With flowing blood and water, He surely should have died!
Only death could have made the blood and water part.
He must have died some time before the spearpoint burst His heart.
“Yet if somehow He lived, escaped, then overcame the guard,
And if He then walked many miles, so wounded and so marred,
That alone should make you think.
That alone should make you pause.
That alone should be enough to compel you to His cause.”
My friend exclaimed, “You win this round, but I have more to say.
Your case for death is very strong, yet there’s another way.
Perhaps they stole His body before the guard arrived.
Then the empty tomb convinced the rest He was alive.”
“An empty tomb is not enough,” I very quickly said.
“They would not seal His tomb unless He still was there and dead.
“Let me see if I can guess the next thing you will say—
They stole His body while guards slept. That’s how He got away.
A noisey stone was rolled away while all remained asleep?
In all the noise and chaos not one guard made a peep?
“Just a stolen body would ne’er inspire such zeal.
He must have been alive and well. He must have been quite real.
Men do not give up their lives in order to deceive.
They do not die for something that they truly can’t believe.
For such a noble cause you might find one or two.
But twelve or even hundreds?
You know that’s just not true.”
The sceptic said, “I see your point.
Perhaps they saw Him rise,
But only with demented minds that played tricks on their eyes.
Perhaps, then, it was nothing more than legendary tale.”
Then I answered him and said,
“Here’s where your logic starts to fail.
Five hundred said they saw Him. It’s true. It’s not a tale.
The minds of one or two perhaps could start to go—
But five hundred people all at once?
It simply can’t be so!
“Christ’s name appears in history; it’s not just pleasant prose.
Some will say He had a twin and that was how He ‘rose.’
But a twin was never mentioned—not even by His foes.
There’s only one course left for us: Christ indeed did rise!
It’s not fiction—not fancy, not folly nor disguise.”
My friend thought for a moment, maybe two.
Then with surprise he said,
“I guess it must be true!
Jesus really rose again so that I might believe.
He really conquered death that I might no longer grieve.
If only I had seen it; if only I had known!”
“Don’t worry, friend,” I said. “I, too, had to be shown.
Now in Christ we’re brothers, with no fear of death nor doubt.
And He wants us to tell others what we ourselves have found.
Then when at last we’ll meet Him at the closing of our days,
He’ll say, ‘Well done, my faithful servant.
I give you now my praise!’ ”
Chris Hansen is a friend of the Jews for Jesus ministry.