There is much to regret when a major cable television channel, as Easter approaches, airs a documentary claiming to have discovered Jesus’ tomb with his remains still inside it.
The Resurrection is not simply vital to our faith. It is the very basis for our faith. St. Paul put it best when he said: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 17). As regrettable as it is to think that such a documentary would air at all, there is plenty of cause for hope.
Public relations experts say that there is no such thing as bad press — even the wrong kind of attention is still attention. That is not exactly true, but when it comes to Jesus, we often see just such a paradoxical phenomenon. There are some people who obstinately and deliberately want to reject him, but by and large, it seems that the more interest and attention focused on Jesus, the more people come to believe in and follow him.
If a popular entertainer made a high-profile claim that George Washington died as a young man and had nothing to do with the founding of the United States of America, he might shake some people’s faith in that historical reality. But the more people looked into the matter, the more they would learn how wrong that claim was. They would simultaneously come to a greater “faith” in George Washington, and recognize that belief in him was under attack. Well, like Washington, Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection are truly a part of our history. In Christ’s case, there is even more opportunity to set the record straight.
Not only is there ample evidence that the resurrection was real, but Christ lives still. And he truly helps us to know him, if we ask.