This is my first official blog post! Be patient - this dinosaur faces a difficult learning curve. Nevertheless, here I am!
As I was reading through the resurrection accounts, this encounter struck me. It’s a fake news story – how timely I thought. The story begins at Jesus' tomb with an earthquake. Then an angel comes and rolls away the stone sealing the tomb. The guards posted to secure the tomb witness these events. Filled with fear, they make their way back to the chief priests to give a report of what happened. What happens next is this: a plot is planned, money given, and promises made in an effort to spread an alternate story. The chief priests offer an alternative fact: the disciples simply stole the body. This easily explains away the empty tomb.
Didn’t know that fake news is part of Easter! It is.
I have preached Easter sermons that make the point that an empty grave proves nothing. I know that some will say it is shocking that a preacher would say this. Still, though an empty tomb can be explained away by grave robbers. An alternate story, with alternate facts, and all very plausible.
So I ask the question, “How can we smell out a fake news story?” Simple. Motive. Look to those who are protecting or hiding something. Fake news is a means to cover up the Truth, which in this case, is Jesus who reveals himself to be the Messiah.
How did Jesus’ followers handle this fake news story? Presence and Witness.
What cannot be explained away, is the risen presence of Jesus with his church. The Risen Jesus stands and knocks at doors of human hearts. To those who open the door, the presence of Christ is real. The proof - a transformed life!
It’s easy for skeptics to explain away an empty tomb. Any fake news story will do. A transformed life, however, is impossible to explain away. And that is a powerful witness.