Just over 5 months ago, on Nov 2, 2007, the remains of Sarah Symonds, who died in 1821, were reported stolen from the Bible Hill Cemetery in Hillsboro, New Hampshire. The grave was excavated with a rectangular hole dug 5 and a half feet deep. Dirt was piled up on either side of the hole, and the headstone was intact. But the body was gone. (Kristen Senz, Remains Stolen From Grave in Hillsboro Cemetery, The Union Leader (Nov. 6, 2007) at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21663336/ (last visited Mar 18, 2008)). While police were unsure who took the body, Lt. Darren Remillard informed a reporter investigating the story, “The body is certainly missing.” (WMUR 9, Grave-Robbing Could Be Linked to Ritualistic Beliefs, (Nov 7, 2007) at http://www.wmur.com/news/14526508/detail.html (last visited Mar 18, 2008)).
In similar fashion, the body of Jesus is certainly missing! However, his body was not stolen, as poor Ms. Symonds’ body was. The evidence points to the inescapable conclusion that Jesus really was raised from the dead. And because of that, we can trust that the words that Jesus spoke, and all the promises he made, are true. When Jesus said that God loves every one of us, it’s true. When Jesus said that the one who trusts Him will live forever, it’s true. When Jesus promised to prepare a place for us in heaven, he did. When Jesus promised that He would never leave us, He won’t. When He promised that He would give us His joy, and His power, and His love, it’s true. It’s all true, if Jesus really rose from the dead. It’s true. When God raised Jesus from the dead, He vindicated Jesus and proclaimed that what He had said was true. And we can trust it.