Skip to content


April 7, 2012

Many Easters ago, I was walking on the grounds of Hope Lutheran Church, in Palm Desert, California, with my cousin, Betty Ann, who was in town for a family wedding, when the pastor emerged from his office and headed toward the sanctuary.  His head was down, and he seemed lost in thought.  Betty Ann, her face joyously aglow, greeted him with the traditional Easter greeting, “He is Risen!”  Pastor Bjerke looked up and smilingly responded, “He is Risen, indeed!”  That memory is particularly poignant this Easter, since Betty Ann’s beloved husband of forty-eight years met his risen Lord and Savior face-to-face a few weeks ago.

The resurrection of Jesus is the linchpin of Christianity.  St. Paul said that if Jesus’ resurrection did not occur, Christianity is a lie (I Corinthians 15:12-19), but then confirmed that “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead . . . ” (I Corinthians 15:20).

Skeptics have questioned the resurrection for centuries.  One skeptic, Lee Strobel, a reporter and self-described atheist, set out to disprove the resurrection with his investigative journalism skills.  He consulted scholars from many disciplines—forensic pathology, history, Biblical scholarship, ancient languages, archaeology, philosophy, psychology, and theology.  His investigation led him to a belief in Jesus as the risen Christ.  In his book, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus, Stobel examines the record (eyewitness evidence, documentary evidence, corroborating evidence, scientific evidence, and rebuttal evidence) and Jesus, the man, (psychological evidence, profile evidence and “fingerprint” evidence) in addition to researching the resurrection evidence (medical evidence, evidence of the missing body, the evidence of appearances after his death and circumstantial evidence.)  His methodical examination of the evidence compels the conclusion that Jesus was who he said he was, the Son of God, and that God raised him from the dead.

The Easter declaration, “He is Risen!  He is Risen!  He is Risen, indeed!” will be repeated all over the world on Easter Sunday by millions of Christians in dozens of languages.  It refers to the statement the angel made to the women who went to the tomb on Sunday morning to anoint Jesus’ body with spices: “He has risen” (Matthew 28:7; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:6.), and to Paul’s confirmation of the truth of that statement.

Paul’s confirming word that Christ has risen from the dead (“indeed”)  is historically added to the last repetition of “He is Risen!”  The English word, “indeed,” comes from the Middle English, “in deed,” and is used to emphasize the truth of a stated fact.   Adding the word “indeed” to the empty tomb exclamation, means that the angel’s statement “He is risen,” is most emphatically true.

The distinguished philosopher, J.P. Moreland, stated to Strobel that “the final confirming proof,” of the resurrection is “[T]he ongoing encounter with the resurrected Christ that happens all over the world, in every culture, to people from all kinds of backgrounds and personalities—well educated and not, rich and poor, thinkers and feelers, men and women.  They will testify that more than any other single thing in their lives, Jesus Christ has changed them.”[1]  Indeed.

[1] Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus ( Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), 255

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: