On The Resurrection Story And The Cover Up Conspiracy

RESURRECTION

It is unfortunate that some people in the modern world have chosen to dismiss the Biblical account of the resurrection story as a work of fiction or a product of deluded minds. But you see, anyone who denies that Jesus rose from the death does so at his or her own risk, one that has an eternal consequence.

Doubters may continue to doubt, but it does not change the fact that Jesus died and rose from the dead.  So He is no longer in the grave

In Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is considered the greatest event ever. In fact, it is the foundation of the Christian faith.

Without it, we would not have a solid foundation for our faith. Without it, what we would have is another dead religion.

Apostle Paul underscored this point when he wrote to the Church in Corinth saying, “And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless” (1 Corinthians 15:14).

Gratefully, the gospel is not useless and our faith is not a useless one either.

Ther reason is that it is a historical fact (despite what some skeptics may say) that Jesus physically resurrected from the dead.

One thing about that is sure, the resurrection of Jesus was not a bolt from the blues. It was something that was talked about long before it actually happened.

There were several prophecies about it. For instance, here is a quote from the book of Psalms:

“…you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay” (16:10, NIV).

When God raised Jesus was the dead, that Scripture was fulfilled.

Jesus Himself talked about His resurrection well in advance. In Mathew’s Gospel, we read of the following account:

“See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day” (20:18-19, ESV).

In essence, Jesus stated that the Gentiles (in this case, the Romans) would condemn and crucify him, but He would rise up on the third day.

Whatc be clearer than that?

Anyway, that was exactly what happened: Jesus was crucified and put in a grave. But on the third day, He came out alive by divine power.

By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also (1 Corinthians 6:14).

An Angel announced to the first women who visited the grave, “…Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay” (Matt. 28:5-6, ESV).

Following this awesome resurrection story, the soldiers who were stationed to guard the grave went to town to narrate their experience. But they did it in away to make them look good.

That gave rise to the cover-up conspiracy as reported below:

And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble” (Matt. 28:12-14, ESV).

Despite this conspiracy, we know that Jesus rose from the dead; His disciples didn’t steal Him away as alleged. “… God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24, NIV).

Jesus resurrected and He is alive forever.

Centuries later, we are still celebrating the risen Lord. That proves that the conspiracy that His disciples stole His body could not successfully cover up the resurrection story. And it never will!


©Copyright 2019 | Victor Uyanwanne

Stephen Hawking: Why I’m Sad About Him

Stephen Hawking
Source: Hawking.org.uk

It is no  longer news that the popular British physicist Stephen Hawking has passed on at the age of 76 years.

However, as his life is being celebrated around the world, it is imperative that we reflect on a few things we know about him.

In this post, we will take a look at some things we know about Stephen Hawking and the only reason I feel sad about him.

Writing  in Christianity Today about the death of Hawking, James Macintyre, described him as “the peerless scientist and leading atheist whose curiosity about the universe shaped our understanding of modern cosmology.”

Similarly, a statement reported to have been released by Hawking’s family announcing his death also recognised that “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.”

Snippets from Hawking’s biography

  • His full name is Professor Stephen William Hawking and was born on 8th January 1942  in Oxford, England;
  • He wanted to study mathematics at the University College, Oxford. But Mathematics was not available there, so he pursued physics instead;
  • In addition to the Phd he obtained in 1965, Hawkings had 13 honorary degrees in his life time;
  • At the age of 21, he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease which made doctors think he would die within 2 years. But he lived for additional 53 years;
  • He became wheelchair-bound and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication;
  • He published many books but the most popular ones include: A Brief History of TimeBlack Holes and Baby Universes and Other EssaysThe Universe in a NutshellThe Grand Design and My Brief History.
  • He had three children and three grandchildren.

We would all agree that Hawking was an extraordinary man by all means. But the only thing that makes me unhappy about him is to have heard that he remained an atheist throughout his life. And if that  report is true, then it saddens my heart to note that death has now made it too late for him to change his mind about the question of God.

Unfortunately, the same God whom he rejected on Earth will be the same God whom he, just like everyone else, would face in judgement.  As the Bible clearly states,

“Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God”

(Hebrews 9:27, Good News Translation).

 

Reference:

Stephen Hawking, Brief Biography; http://www.hawking.org.uk/about-stephen.html, accessed 14/03/2018

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Billy Graham: I Wish I Had Met Him

Billy Graham's Quote

Like Bishop Benson Idahosa, Like Billy Graham

In 1998, Bishop Benson Idahosa went on to be with the Lord.

A fearless Charismatic Pentecostal preacher, and founder of the Church of God Mission International with headquarters in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, Idahosa, remains one of the greatest ministers to have come out of Africa.

Bishop Benson Idahoha
Picture Credit: DunamisBlog

He was a man that preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to the uttermost part of the world. From Nigeria to Africa, America, Europe and other parts of the world, Idahosa took the supreme task of evangelism to all nations with courage, faith and power of the Holy Spirit.

As the first televangelist I came to know growing up in the 80’s, I had great respect and administration for Idahosa. And for many years, it was a secret desire of mine to meet him face to face some day.

As God would have it, that silent wish came to fulfilment in 1997 when he happened to pay a scheduled visit to the Polytechnic town of Auchi where I was schooling at that point in time. Needless, to say, I made it a point of duty to see the Bishop that day and even touched him. It was a fulfilling experience for me – a dream come through!

Outside this shores at that time, one renown evangelist I also heard about so much then was American preacher, Billy Graham. I was not born yet when he held some of his gospel crusades across some cities in Nigeria in the 60’s, but his reputation as a fiery, respectable man of God did not escape me.

In some ways, one could say that Bishop Benson Idahosa was to Nigeria and the world what Billy Graham was to America and the world. While I had the privilege of meeting the former before he passed on to glory, I was not able to meet the latter in person. And sadly, I would no longer be able to do so again on this side of life.

Every one must confess there is God - Victor Uyanwanne
Billy Graham. Source: Billygraham.org

It is no longer news that the legendary American evangelist has recently passed on to glory. He was indisputably one of the greatest Christian leaders ever known in this century; he was a good soldier of Christ here on earth who was highly respected around the world.

As the stories about Billy Graham’s  ministry, life and time on earth continue to pour into our consciousness through various media, I came to realise something I never really knew I had – a wish to have met him.

Unlike being able to meet Bishop Idahosa before he passed on, I would be unable to meet Graham any more.

However, from the many available reports about him, there are some interesting things that one would easily cherish:

  • He was a man of great character and integrity;
  • He stayed true to his divine calling – evangelism;
  • He was highly respected around the world;
  • He was “a spiritual adviser to American presidents…”
  • He was very influential as a christian leader;
  • He insisted on racial integration in his crusades;
  • He remained conscious of Heaven all through his life.

Billy Graham has now left the world to be with with Lord. And it is gratifying to note that he finished strongly.

Just like Apostle Paul, we can say of him “Graham fought the good fight, Graham finished the race, Graham kept the faith.”

Though I never got to meet him while on this Earth, I take solace in the fact that we shall some day meet at the Lord’s bosom – in Heaven that he so much believed in and preached about.

My home is in heaven. I’m just travelling through this world – Billy Graham.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

No Longer In the Grave

Written by Victor Uyanwanne

Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Easter Celebration

The Lord I serve

Is no longer in the grave

On the third day

He came out alive

Some Angels rolled the stone away

And my Saviour came forth

The Lord I am serving

Is no longer in the grave.

I penned those words about thirteen years ago. I was on holiday in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria during the 2003 Easter celebration with my elder brother and his family.

On the Easter Sunday morning, I stayed in bed reading Luke’s account of the resurrection episode (Luke 24:1-7):

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’

As I meditated on that Scripture, the Holy Spirit quickened my heart and a heavenly song welled up from within me. I jumped to my feet and I began to sing in other tongues and then later in English (which I perceived was the interpretation of the tongues):

“No longer in the grave.”

Yes, Jesus is no longer in the grave. And it was not His disciples that stole Him away as alleged in the propaganda churned out by the religious cum political authorities of that era.

Jesus Christ resurrected from death with great power and majesty. God would not allow His Son to suffer decay:

…..because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay Psalm 16:10.

Speaking by the Holy Spirit, Peter tells  us that:

But God raised him [Jesus Christ] from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” Acts 2:24.

That’s the crux of Easter celebration: Jesus Christ, crucified and buried in the grave, conquered death and rose from the dead and never to die again.

That is what separates Christianity from other faiths. No religious leader in history resurrected like Jesus did.

All other religious leaders (before and after Him) died and remain rotten in their grave. Death still kept them in its grip till date. But for my Lord Jesus, it was impossible for death to hold Him captive. He died and came out from the grave alive.

Jesus Himself declared:

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:18.

Jesus Christ is no longer in the grave. He has conquered death once and for all. And He is alive forever.