"Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!"
The University of Illinois men's basketball team appeared to be buried, facing a 15-point deficit with 4:04 left in their 2005 regional championship game against Arizona. Deron Williams started an Illinois rally with a 3-pointer, and then capped an amazing comeback with another 3-pointer to tie the game and send it into overtime. The Fighting Illini held on for a 90-89 victory propelling them to the Final Four for the first time in 16 years. "Everyone probably thought it was over," said Williams. "We kept believing."
After the women learned that Jesus had risen from the dead, they ran back and told the apostles of the good news. The interesting thing is that the apostles "did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense" (Luke 24:11). These are the same men that Jesus told plainly that He would "be killed and on the third day be raised to life" (Luke 9:22).
I don't know if the apostles "thought it was over," but it sure didn't seem like they were expecting Jesus to come back from the dead. But the fact of the matter is He did rise from the dead, and because of that we know that those who put their faith in Christ will also be raised from earthly death to eternal life.
If Christ has not come back to life, then there is no hope of use receiving eternal life either, making our faith in Him pointless. Fortunately, that's not the case!
1. What is the greatest comeback you have experienced in competition?
2. Do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Why or why not?
3. What difference does it make in your life if Jesus rose from the dead?
1 Corinthians 15:14-22
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
1 Peter 1:3-5