The BBC published a survey today saying that a quarter of people who describe themselves as Christians in Great Britain do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus.
Scepticism about the resurrection is not new. Ever since the angel first announced to the women at the tomb that “he is risen” people have been struggling to believe something that does not and could not happen. Even the disciples at first could not believe it – it was incredible!
Many over the last two millennia have rolled their eyes the first time they heard about it and some have tried really hard to disprove it.
So unbelief is not new, even in the church. The question is, what convinced those disciples and later what persuaded Christians over the years to believe it?
It was evidence.
Evidence in terms of the circumstances – the empty tomb, the failure of anyone to produce a dead body.
The evidence of the witnesses who saw Jesus dead and alive – so many of them willing to die for their belief because they knew it was true.
Evidence by the existence of the church built on the fundamental assumption that Jesus is alive.
And evidence in the experience of the risen Christ in heart and lives – changing people and generously answering their prayers.
So we encourage everyone this Easter not to worry about the doubters but to look at the evidence. Find a church near you that will be telling the true Easter story from the eyewitnesses.
P.S. There is some helpful analysis of the poll here…