THE BIBLE teaches that there are two main groups of people living on the earth—Christians and non-Christians. Scripturally, non-Christians are often referred to as the world; in other words people and systems which are not in and of Jesus Christ. Christians have Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour; they have a relationship with Him and live by His teachings. It is thus written that Christians are in the world, but not of the world.
Now, Christians believe and confess that Jesus Christ, the Creator Son of God, took on the form of man and came into the world to minister. He died, was buried and raised from the dead, and lives forevermore. But the world disputes that the story about Christ's resurrection was concocted by His disciples to deceive people. The apostle Paul faced critics like that in the Corinthian church; he insisted that Christ was indeed raised from the dead and that there is resurrection of the dead.
“Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain…But, in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:12-20).
Now, the disciples have always insisted that Christ was raised from the dead and lives eternally. As it is, who is telling the truth or lie? Understand that each party has a sound mind but with a great difference concerning revelatory knowledge and encounter. So now, the way out is the provision of evidence that indeed Christ Jesus was raised from the dead.
It is important for us to appreciate the fact that normal functioning human beings will not defend Christ Jesus to the extent of dying for Him if they have no conviction of the genuineness of the evidence of His resurrection from the dead. The disciples of Christ had evidence of His resurrection so they did not fear to die for their faith in Him.
It must be stated that the resurrection of Christ Jesus is the usefulness of the preaching of the gospel. It is the usefulness of our faith in Christ. By it, people who die in the Lord shall be found. Christ's resurrection makes believers think and see beyond the things of the world. It is the reason for fighting the good fight of the faith, enduring trials of various kinds and the resurrection is the reason we shun hedonism, and embrace temperance.
Now, the problem with the unbelievers is that they are completely ignorant about the evidence true Christians have about the existence of Jesus Christ, and they cannot have it unless they become genuine Christians. The reason is that before the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, He had spoken to His disciples concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit to be with them after His death. He made it clear that the world, i.e. non-Christians, would not see Him again after His death, but His disciples would.
Christ said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet, a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:18-19).
The expression “a little while” in the verse of Scripture above means a short period of time, and Jesus said from that short period of time forward the world would see Him no more. That means the world had seen Jesus before. It saw Him physically working as a carpenter, and later preaching the Kingdom of God and healing the sick. However, Christ said, “In a little while” the world would see Him no more, but Christians would see Him both spiritually and physically after His resurrection.
Now, what Christ had spoken ought to be fulfilled. The Lord had said the world would see Him no more, but His disciples would see Him. And truly the disciples saw Him (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). How then should it be surprising to unbelievers if they cannot see or hear from Him, after His resurrection? It must be understood that the appearances of Christ to His disciples is a fulfillment of prophecy.
Today, there are countless Christians who have supernaturally seen or encountered Christ Jesus. I have too. I encountered Him when He laid His hands on my head in a dream and healed me of a strange deadly disease that even medics at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) could not diagnose in 2016. My faith in the Lord Jesus increased greatly after that supernatural encounter. As a result, currently, I need no one's argument about the existence or deity of Jesus Christ.
Jesus lives; He appears to people in various parts of the world by His sovereign will, power and choice. In fact, there have been occasions when Christ Jesus has even appeared to some unbelievers at His own sovereign will to prove His existence to them. Jesus Christ appears to people supernaturally in visions, dreams and trances. At other times, He appears to some people physically and speaks to them.
In Galatians 4:6, the Bible says, “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, Abba Father!” This means a person who hears the gospel of Jesus Christ, believes in Him, and receives the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, to dwell in him or her has indirectly seen or encountered Jesus Christ.
In other words, the coming of the Holy Spirit to dwell in and upon believers is the coming of Jesus Christ, who lives as a Spirit being. Unbelievers cannot have and understand these experiences unless they sincerely believe in the risen Lord and Saviour.
By James Quansah