Key Verse

Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
— John 20:29

The Resurrection Really Happened

Mark 16:1-14; John 20:19-29



The evidence was there to convince Piper.

“It really happened, Piper. It’s not just some made-up story.”

Piper didn’t respond to Ian’s statement. Her head was spinning from the discussion they’d been having on their way to school. Ian is really a neat guy, she thought to herself. If only he weren’t so into being a Christian. It’s all right to go to church once in a while, but talking about Jesus and the Bible during the week seems so unnecessary.

“Well, Ian, I’ll see you later. Thanks for walking with me.”

Noontime came and Piper and her best friend, Sophia, took their lunches to the front lawn of the school since it was a nice spring day. As they looked across the lawn they saw Ian eating his lunch with some of his friends.

“Why do you think Ian is so caught up in his religion? You know, Sophia, I just wish there were some way that I could prove to him that Jesus was just a man and not God like he thinks. I believe He might have been a great teacher, but why does Ian think He is God? He even believes that Jesus came back from the dead!”

“I don’t know too much about that, but you have to admit something really happened to Ian. You remember as well as I do what he was like before he became a Christian.”

Piper nodded slowly. “You’re right. I was shocked to see the change in him. He nearly ended up in jail—and now, even my mom says he’s one of the nicest young men she knows. But does that prove that Jesus is God?”

“I’ve got an idea, Piper. Why don’t you ask Mr. Martinez? If anyone knows about history, he does. He’d know if it’s all just some tall tale or not.”

History was her last-period class, so Piper was able to take a few minutes after school to talk to Mr. Martinez. She hoped he could give her the proof she needed to tell Ian not to waste any more of his time on religion.

“Mr. Martinez, I have a question I’d like to ask you. It may sound weird, but . . . did Jesus really exist?”

Her teacher looked up from the papers he was going over. “Oh, yes, Piper. We have abundant proof of His having lived at the beginning of the first century. I’ve done quite a bit of study on that era of time.”

“Was He really God, or just a man like you?”

“Well, He said He was God, and He did do many miracles during His short life, but . . .”

“What about the Resurrection? Did that really happen?”

“In looking into the historical records relating to that incident, I’d have to say that there is no conclusive evidence that it did not happen. Actually there is every reason to believe that it happened just as His disciples said. It was the duty of the Roman soldiers to make sure Jesus was dead. After He had been wrapped in grave clothes and buried in a tomb He miraculously disappeared, even though there were Roman soldiers guarding the entrance. He was seen by over five hundred people after that. Those who persecuted His disciples were never able to produce the body or prove that the Resurrection didn’t happen.”

Piper’s expression changed considerably as Mr. Martinez continued.

“It really does seem unlikely that a group of unschooled fishermen and common people, dejected and discouraged after Jesus’ death, would suddenly become the triumphant and confident men they were unless they had actually witnessed the miracle of the Resurrection. No persecution could keep them from publishing the Gospel, and thousands were converted under their ministry. And even today it continues.”

After thinking for a moment Piper responded, “So then He really is God and my friend Ian is right. Since you know all this, you must be a Christian too, Mr. Martinez.”

“Ah . . . well, that is . . . I . . .”

“Mr. Martinez,” she began in a surprised voice, “you have all the proof you need that Jesus is who He said He was, and that means the Bible is true, and that there is a Heaven and a Hell, and that . . .”

Appearing to be very nervous, Mr. Martinez stood up and began stuffing some papers into his briefcase. “I’ve got to be going now, Piper. Perhaps you could talk to someone else about this.”

Following him out the door, Piper continued, “If I knew for a fact all that you do, I think I’d be out telling it to others like Ian does. Ian told me the Bible says that Jesus is coming soon. Don’t you think that must be true also since we know the Resurrection really happened? You and I need to be ready to meet Jesus—right, Mr. Martinez? Mr. Martinez . . .”