You Ask Me How I Know He Lives?

Growing up as a child, my favorite song on Easter Sunday was the old hymn “He Lives” and it still is a good one. Easter Sunday was always my favorite day to attend church. It is still a day that is filled with hope and promise in the fact that Jesus rose from the dead.

Sadly, most people don’t believe that Jesus lives. It’s just another Bible story. A myth. Just another religious belief.

The further that our society is distanced from the resurrection, the more that people will drift into unbelief. Sure, it’s hard to believe in something that happened over 2,000 years ago. I know it is difficult in people to believe. Of course, the whole foundation of Christianity is based upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I have told you before that I prefer to call myself a “believer” rather than a “Christian”. That means I believe. I believe that Jesus is alive today. Do I have any scientific proof? No. I have none. So why do I believe that Jesus is alive?

So why believe in something that I have no proof about?

He lives.

That’s it for me.

If you need more, consider this….

Many eyewitnesses to the resurrection would not refute their claims even in the face of torture and death. Unlike martyrs of today who believe based upon traditions that have been passed down from generations, these eyewitnesses were first generation witnesses and they either saw Jesus alive or they didn’t. If they knew for sure it was a lie, why would they endure persecution which resulted in torture and death? Even the Apostles made a drastic change from hiding after the crucifixion to boldly going out into the world to preach about a risen Savior.

After the public trial and crucifixion of Jesus, if the Sanhedrin had wanted to put an end to the claims that Christ raised from the dead, they could have simply put his body on display.  Instead, they claimed that the disciples stole his body but if that were true, the disciples would have KNOWN that the resurrection was not true and wouldn’t have suffered persecution for something they knew was false.

The conversion of Saul to Paul was more proof of the resurrection.  Saul was hostile against Christians and supervised the beatings and killings of the followers of Christ until he had his own encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus.  This encounter totally changed his life.  He suffered for his conversion with severe persecution, beatings and – eventually – execution for his commitment to the resurrection of Christ.

If all of these “eyewitnesses” created some conspiracy, eventually someone would have confessed. It wasn’t the best choice of someone to be a first-generation Christian.  Believers suffered for their faith.  In ancient Rome, Nero brutalized Christians.  He even illuminated his garden parties with Christians whom he burnt alive. If these first-generation Christians had not been certain of the resurrection of Christ, someone would have confessed the truth under the threat of such terrible pain.

There are some who claimed that Christ faked his death.  With the beating and horrific public crucifixion, He suffered there would have been internal injuries, massive blood loss and a spear through His side from one of the Roman soldiers to verify His death.  There is no way Christ could have survived and sat in a tomb for three days without medical attention or food or water.

The fact that women were actually credited as being the first eyewitnesses to the resurrected Christ would have been something that writers would have not made up since in both ancient Jewish and Roman cultures women were viewed less than men.  If believers created such a conspiracy or hoax wouldn’t they have credited the primary eyewitnesses to men to bolster their claims?  Basing an entire fake on the claims of women eyewitnesses would have been an embarrassment to them.

For me, I don’t need these supportive arguments of the resurrection or that Jesus is alive today.  I have believed it all of my life and will continue to believe it until my life here is over.  I don’t need proof.  The song “He Lives” ends appropriately with words:  “You ask me how I know He lives?  He lives within my heart.”

You either believe or not.  If you are basing your belief with your mind then you are already in the wrong place.  It is a matter of the heart.  He is our hope for eternal life.  Had He not risen from the dead then we would not have hope that one day we will rise like Him. 

You don’t have to be religious to believe in Jesus or do some weird stuff to follow Him.  You only have to believe. 

“I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me though he were dead, yet shall he live.”  (John 11:25)

Awesome Songs of Easter

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Easter Sunday was always my favorite day to attend church. It was a tradition for me which started at an early age. When I was a child it was about wearing new clothes to church and the Easter Egg Hunt after church. As I grew older, I learned to appreciate the positive message of the resurrection. It has always been exciting to hear about that morning when Jesus walked out of His tomb. Good Friday became an even better Sunday.

During a period of my life, I was a church youth leader and my favorite activity was to direct the Easter program at church. I was always one who was a bit eccentric and liked to do things different. Each year when I planned the Easter program, I would pick a powerful Easter song and have our young people to play roles in acting out the song. These programs were a lot of work but they were always very fulfilling when they were performed. I always had a wonderful group to help me. We had fun but they were all also very committed to what we were doing.

My early productions were rather basic but I found ways to improve each year. The year I discovered the effects of dry ice was an awesome discovery as I learned how to create fog or smoke effects, especially when the stone was rolled away from the tomb. Another year I managed to save tubes of fake blood from Halloween to use them for the productions. The blood was so lifelike that one elderly lady didn’t like it and left. I’m not sure what she was expecting from us acting out a song called “This Blood Is For You”.

Since I would always use modern contemporary Christian songs, there were always the traditional people who would express their dislike for our “worldly” music. In other words, we weren’t acting out songs from the church hymnal.  That’s okay because everyone’s tastes are different, I just liked using songs that were effective to stir the emotions of people and understand the importance of this day.

It was exciting to bring life to some awesome Easter songs. When I refer to Easter songs I am referring to songs about the resurrection.

Here is a list of some of my favorites along with a link to a performance of that song:

  • “He’s Alive” by Don Francisco (Listen)
  • “Arise my Love” by Newsong (Listen)
  • “The Champion” by Carman (Listen)
  • “He Lives” by Lakewood Church by Cindy Cruse Ratcliff (Listen)
  • “Rise Again” by Dallas Holm (Listen)
  • “Was It A Morning Like This” by Sandi Patty (Listen)
  • “Jesus Is Alive” by Ron Kenoly (Listen)
  • “Celebrate Jesus” by Don Moen (Listen)
  • “Because He Lives” by Bill and Gloria Gaither (Listen)
  • “I’ve Just Seen Jesus” by Sandy Patti and Larnelle Harris (Listen)

It’s very difficult for me to pick a favorite from the list above.  I can only say that they all have their own ways of bringing out hope and maybe cause a few goose bumps to appear when you listen to them.  I think the first one that I remember which really stuck with me was the first time I heard the song “He’s Alive”.  My first time hearing this song was not the Don Francisco version but one sung by a man that has meant a lot to me.  He was my first counselor in Youth Camp many, many years ago.  He is an awesome banjo player and he performed a memorable version of this song.  I have never forgotten it.

So if you are looking for an awesome Easter song today, I highly recommend any of those on the list above.

Although not an Easter song, the final scene from the movie “Passion of the Christ” is perhaps the best movie scene which depicts the resurrection.  I think it’s pretty powerful.  You can view the scene below: