Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my savior

No one was there to wipe away the tears, that burned the holy eyes of God. As He looked up on His one and only Son, Who’d never sinned or lied, yet was crucified. –Michael Card, “Known by the Scars”

It’s all or nothing on Jesus Christ for me. I am not a deist, nor merely a theist. I believe the evidence points to a first century Jewish Carpenter known as Jesus the Christ, the son “as it was supposed” of Joseph and Mary, being God incarnate, crucified, buried and risen from the dead. The hope of my sinfulness being killed to death resides in the cross. The affirmation of that hope is evidenced by an empty tomb.

typical tomb in Jerusalem

A typical tomb in the Jerusalem area

Once upon a time I believed what a few preachers had said, “Even if Christianity turns out not to be true, it would still be worth living the Christian life because it’s the best life of all.” As I grew older I changed my opinion to that of the Apostle Paul:

And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. (1 Corinthians 15:17-19, NLT)

Paul did not hint toward a return to Judaism if suddenly Jesus’ body was found in the back corner of Joseph’s garden tomb. His clear assertion is that if Jesus Christ did not rise bodily from the dead then we are all fools for believing it. The resurrection is the lynchpin for why the rest of Christianity means something.

A friend of mine says, “All my chips are on Jesus.” Mine too. If a skeleton were found just outside Jerusalem bearing crystal clear evidence of being Jesus’ body, I would not run to Judaism, Islam, Shamanism, Wicca, Animism, Agnosticism, Zoroastrianism, or any other belief system. I would, like Paul, just consider myself to have been fooled.

However…

Paul closes that door:

But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. (1 Corinthians 15:20-22, NLT)

It’s for this very reason that I cling to Christ and Christ alone.

Low in the grave he lay, yes, but up from the grave he arose with a might triumph or his foes! He arose a victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign! He arose! He arose! Hallelujah, Christ arose!

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • I’m with you on the “all or nothing” deal.

    Years ago, there was a man who walked a tightrope across Niagara Falls. Sometimes, he pushed a wheelbarrow, and occasionally he’d do that with a volunteer riding in the wheelbarrow! That’s how I picture Christianity. No safety nets, no pressure relief valves, no hope other than the already-accomplished success of what Jesus did.

    I also think the argument “What if I’m wrong and you’re right” is not a sign of strong faith. It’s saying “I may be wrong about this…”. And we’re not wrong.

    Period.