We start a new series this Sunday. We are in the Eastertide season of the church. Eastertide begins on Easter Sunday and runs till Pentecost Sunday, roughly the next six Sundays. At different seasons of the year we tend to focus on different aspects of Jesus’ life. For instance, during the season of Advent we ponder who Jesus is in his unique person. He is the ‘incarnate’ son of God. I confess, it never gets old pondering the God-man, and looking with wonder at the God who would give up so much to make me his son. During the Easter season we ponder the work of Jesus, what he came to do – “heal all the brokenness of the world” through his death, burial, and resurrection.
So for the next six weeks we are going to talk about the various appearances of Jesus after the resurrection. It is utterly fascinating! It is so fascinating that the whole case for a resurrected Messiah rests on the various eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ interaction with real people in space and time. After the resurrection, Jesus didn’t just disappear, he showed himself to the Apostles and, according to Paul, over 500 people. Is this a big deal? Well, it is to Chuck Colson.
Chuck Colson, you may remember, was part of the Watergate cover-up in the Nixon Era. He and others were involved in an array of clandestine and illegal operations, including breaking into the Watergate office complex, which housed their political opponents – the Democratic National Convention, to tap phones and carry out other nefarious acts. What turned the whole thing into a political scandal was the attempt to cover up the whole thing. However, in the middle of the crisis Colson was converted and became a tremendous apologist for the Christian faith. What is so interesting and what speaks to our point of “eyewitnesses” of the resurrection is his reflection on his attempt, along with a handful of other men, to “cover-up” the whole Watergate debacle. Listen to what he says about their attempt to cover it up.
“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Everyone was beaten, tortured, stoned, and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world – and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”
So join us Sunday as we walk again the Road to Emmaus and behold the wonder of the resurrected Christ.
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