Q: Many people hear the famous saying, "I am the resurrection and the life" but what does it really mean? -- R.L.
A: "I suppose I'd believe in life after death if I ever met someone who had gone there and then came back to tell about it," a man once wrote. But this is exactly what Jesus did when He died and then came back to life by the power of God. This is the Easter message and it is the glorious Good News that has been broadcast around the world for 2,000 years.
When Jesus was put to death, He truly died. The Roman soldiers who nailed Him to the cross attested to that fact when they took His body down and placed it in a tomb. Its entrance was sealed with a huge stone and placed under guard. But that was not the end of the story.
When the first day of the week dawned the tomb was empty, and shortly after, Jesus appeared numerous times to His followers -- as many as 500 on one occasion. His resurrection proved that Jesus was who He claimed to be, the Son of God, sent from Heaven to save us from our sins. But it also proved for all time that there is life after death -- this is the Resurrection Story. The resurrection blasts apart the finality of death. The most important events in human history are the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without this, the cross is meaningless.
Jesus made this wonderfully profound statement that changed the world, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live" (John 11:25). The resurrection is our great hope.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)