1 Corinthians 15:20 - But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Eighty-one-year-old Charles Covell of Fayetteville, North Carolina, spent 12 years in the Army.
During that time, he served with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg. In 1965, Covell was supposed to have been honored for his courage and bravery in Vietnam. I say, he was supposed to have been honored, but it didn't happen. The paperwork for the award was lost more than 40 years.
It wasn't until the year 2006 that Covell received the Bronze Star for valor.
Recently, Covell ran into another problem. His wife noticed the difficulty when a monthly disabilities payment had not been deposited in their bank account. A little bit of investigation resulted in them finding out that a death certificate for Charles Covell had been filled out in January.
I imagine the news came as quite a shock to the couple. For like Mark Twain, they probably felt the news of Covell's death had been greatly exaggerated.
It took some time and effort to cut through the red tape and prove to the government that Charles was still among the quick and had not joined the dead. Finally, a representative from Congressman Richard Hudson's office was able to announce that all branches of the government now officially recognized Covell as being alive.
It is an amazing thing to me that almost 2,000 years of history has not yet seen humanity come to a consensus about the status of Jesus' life, death, or resurrection.
Although there are secular records which clearly state that Jesus of Nazareth was a real Man, who really existed during the time specified in Scripture, there are still those who blindly shut their eyes to the Redeemer's reality.
When it comes to Jesus' death, we do well to remember that when Rome ruled the Mediterranean, they crucified tens of thousands of individuals. To the best of my knowledge, there was only one person who ever survived that terrible form of capital punishment, and He lived because he was taken down before death took him.
Everyone else, including Jesus, died. The Romans were a most effective and efficient group.
Finally, we come to Jesus' resurrection. There are numerous proofs that our Lord Jesus Christ did indeed rise from the dead. But since we do not have space to list all of those reasons here, we will mention two:
1. Over a lengthy period of time, there were many eyewitnesses who personally saw and visited with the Lord.
2. Jesus' enemies never produced a body. Any corpse which looked reasonably like the Savior would probably have been acceptable. That being said, no attempt was ever made by the authorities to prove Jesus had not risen from the dead.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I pray that the Holy Spirit's work might be effective in convincing the world's lost souls that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and is prepared to forgive their sins and save their souls. In the Name of the risen Lord I pray this prayer. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Newser editors on March 16, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries