In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the central point of the Christian faith. Everything that Christians believe and trust depends on this fundamental truth, that Jesus died and rose again. There are many other truths that are vital to Christianity, but the resurrection is at the heart of it all.
This means that the Christian faith is built on a historical truth ─ the historical events of Easter Sunday and the narrative facts of the resurrection. Christianity stands on the solid and verifiable fact of Jesus’ resurrection, with solid and substantial historical evidence to back it up. The resurrection of Jesus is also the solid and sure ground of our confidence as Christians.
Do you think of Christians as confident and assured? Sadly too often in popular culture Christians are portrayed as weak and ineffectual. They are pictured as insecure about themselves and about their faith. But the picture that the Bible paints is of Christians as confident people. The question is where that confidence and assurance comes from.
It ought to be said that Christian confidence should never come from arrogance or self-righteousness. It can sometimes feel that way, and too often it is that way. But that is not the way Christians are to be confident. Christian confidence stems from a rock-solid belief, that is grounded in evidence, that Jesus rose again.
Michael Faraday, the eminent 19th century scientist in the field of electromagnetism, when asked about his speculations about life after death, said:
“Speculations? I have none. I am resting on certainties. I know whom I have believed…”
And elsewhere he writes, “why should we be afraid? His unspeakable gift in His beloved Son is the ground of no doubtful hope”
The resurrection of Jesus is a sure and solid ground on which to stand. It is not speculation but certainties, because it is found in the certainty of the historical fact of the resurrection. It is a solid ground to stand on at all times, but especially when suffering comes our way.
I have seen many Christians encounter great hardships and deep pain. Christians are not immune from the distress and difficulty of this world. Importantly, they do not gloss over it. They don’t glide through suffering as if it were not there. They are real and honest about the pain of suffering. But they know who they have believed and the know the hope that the resurrection brings. They stand on the sure and solid ground of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead which gives strength amid suffering and hope in the face of death.