Summary: As great as the restoration of a classic car is, a resurrection of a lifeless human body is more impressive. The resurrection of Jesus Christ, changed history—and eternity—for every human who has ever lived.
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.” (Job 19:25)
Have you ever seen a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air? That’s one hot car. Even back when I was a kid, the silhouette of a ‘57 Chevy with the bulging headlights and streamlined trunk fins on the back was already a part of American pop culture.
Jimmy Ellis, my 16-year-old neighbor, was sort of famous—and envied—in the neighborhood. He not only had a driver’s license, but his first car was a ‘57 Chevy—a shiny, red, two-door Chevrolet Bel Air with a V-8 engine. Wherever he drove, it always drew a crowd. “Rev up the motor!” we’d yell. “Spin the tires!”
But Jimmy’s Chevy wasn’t always so hot. When I first saw the car, Jimmy was still a couple of years away from driving age. And at that point, the car hadn’t seen a street or high-school parking lot in a long time.
“Come with me,” Jimmy said one afternoon as several of us were taking a break from playing tag football. “You can take a look at my car.”
“You’ve got a car?” several of us asked in unison. He might as well have claimed to own a flying saucer. Car ownership was something we teen mortals could only dream of.
“Watch and learn,” Jimmy told us.
We followed him through some woods, down a path, and waded through some tall grass. I was about to conclude that this was some kind of joke when suddenly there it was, surrounded by briers and covered with more rust than paint. Underneath what looked like 100 a hundred years of neglect was the unmistakable outline of a 1957 Chevy Bel Air.
For a few minutes, our small group of teen guys just stood looking over the car. So much potential, but so much to fix! Could the engine ever run again? How will they ever get this thing out of the woods? I wondered.
Jimmy broke the reverent silence. “This 1957 Chevy is going to be awesome!” he announced. “My dad and I are gonna give this car a complete restoration.”
“A restoration? What’s that?” someone asked. Jimmy looked each of us directly in the eye. “It means that my dad is going to bring this car back from the dead.”
Jesus Is Alive
As great as the restoration of a classic car is, a resurrection of a lifeless human body is more impressive. The resurrection of Jesus Christ, changed history—and eternity—for every human who has ever lived.
Scholar and apologist R.C. Sproul was asked, “What is the difference between the Christian God and the gods of the other religions?” In his simple yet profound answer, Sproul pointed out, “The main difference is this: The God of Christianity exists.” Other faiths might make the same impassioned claim, but where’s their proof?
When it comes to the truths of Christianity- and specifically to the issue of Christ’s physically resurrection from death - we’re reminded that we have strong evidence. What makes Christianity a unique belief system? It is the fact that our founder, leader and Lord had the power to bring himself back to life. Jesus Christ beat death and did so for us as well.
People understand the concept of restoration. We restore antique furniture, 1957 Chevy’s and other vintage cars, and Victorian houses. In a restoration, broken things get fixed and obsolete parts get updated. It entails bringing something back to its original condition. The Christian concept of resurrection goes further. The New Testament resurrection of Christ depicts Jesus as not only alive, but glorified. It was more than the mere re-animation of a corpse.
Resurrection is a crucial component of our faith. And while mystery cults and world religions allude to it, only Christianity has history on its side. The biblical worldview is unparalleled in its promise of a resurrected body for the believer, and Christianity is certainly distinct in that its founder alone—Jesus Christ—could and did enact His own resurrection. Jesus’ return after three days in the tomb is a vital, non-negotiable point of doctrine, because Jesus said before going to the cross that His resurrection would prove He was the Savior (Matt. 12:39-40; Rom. 1:4).
Both Christians and non-Christians may wonder how we can know for certain that Jesus rose from the dead. As with all of our questions, the Bible holds the answer. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Paul said, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than 500 of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living. … Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also.”