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Have you ever heard there is more than one side to every story?  Well, I have.  I have heard that there are several sides to every story, and somewhere in the mix there is the truth.  We need the truth, especially the truth about Jesus.  For years, there has been this evil spiritual mission to create a fog and cloud of doubt about Jesus.  There is a constant attempt to diminish Him from being who He really is.  Some say He was only Mary’s son, a great teacher, and a founder of a religion.  Others say He was a miracle worker, prophet, or a holy man.  How long have different reports concerning Jesus been circulating?  What are the reports concerning His resurrection?  Whose report is true?  How does the report you believe impact your life? 

Reports concerning Jesus’ identity were circulating during His earthly ministry.  Some reports were very negative, as we see in Matthew 12:22-24.  It says:

Matthew 12:22-24

22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.[1]

Notice, Jesus improves the man’s situation.  The man is cured or restored.  Also, the people are amazed.  That is, they are in awe and see Jesus as being great.  Still, in the midst of wonder and power, others are quite critical of Jesus.  He is charged with receiving His power from an alliance with Satan, Beelzebub.  The opposition is fostering a negative report in order to discredit Jesus in the eyes of the people.  Are you allowing others to discredit Jesus?

On another occasion, Jesus simply asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”  The people held lofty ideas about Jesus.  However, they did not get it right, calling Him John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.  But Jesus asked the disciples, who do you say that I am?  Peter spoke up, as we see in Matthew 16:16, which says:

Matthew 16:16

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.[2]

Peter’s answer reveals that Jesus is the Messiah and Anointed One.  In Peter’s eyes, Jesus is the One we are waiting on who will help and deliver.  Jesus is bringing salvation.  Do you believe the report that Jesus is Lord, Messiah, and Christ?   Do you believe that He is the only way to salvation?  Trust me, there are conflicting reports out here.

Finally, the confusion and conflicting reports concerning Jesus followed Him to His resurrection.  Clearly, in Matthew 28:1-8 and 11-15, there are conflicting reports.  Read the following passage, looking for the conflicting reports regarding Jesus’ resurrection: 

Matthew 28:1-8, 11-15 (English Standard Version)

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “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. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.[3]

11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. [4]

Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, death, and burial appeared to be a victory for His opponents.  However, appearances are not always accurate.  Jesus had not been defeated.  He gave His life.  He laid down His life to ransom us.  His life was given as an exchange or a payment for our release, ending our spiritual captivity.  His death purchased our freedom.  What looked like His defeat was actually our victory.

Surprisingly, while Jesus is in the grave, His accusers are concerned about His promised resurrection.  So, they take steps to make the tomb secure, preventing tampering with and opening.  They had ample reason to be concerned.  Jesus said that He would rise again.  They knew that His words were powerful and that He had a record of fulfilling what He said.  Hence, their goal was to prevent the resurrection.  They really tried to make His tomb sure and secure.  They tried to prevent His resurrection but to no avail.  Just like He said, early that Sunday morning, on the third day, He came out of the grave.  Here is where conflicting reports appear again. 

Two opposing reports are given in the text concerning Jesus’ resurrecting.  The first report was given by the guards. They were respected men esteemed and valued because of their position.  They were viewed as creditable witnesses.  However, their report regarding Jesus resurrection is not accurate.  The guards were paid to lie.  The lie was they fell asleep, and His disciples stole Him while they were sleeping.  In other words, they lied and said Jesus was not resurrected from the dead.  In other words, He is still dead, but we can’t find Him.

The second report was given by followers of Jesus, not the male followers, but the female followers.  Perhaps the second report would be more credible, if it had been given by the men who followed Jesus.  Again, it was not the men but the women.  At this time, unlike the male soldiers, women were not valued or esteemed.  Females were not important and not credible witnesses.  However, their report is accurate and should be believed for several reasons.  One, they were not paid to tell their story.  You could not pay them to change their story.  Two, they gave details, such as, “We went to the grave, an angel was already there, the stone was rolled away, and the angel gave us the gospel, good news, ‘He is not here, for He has risen, as He said.’”   Three, they saw the empty tomb.  Finally, they joyfully shared their experience and news with others.

There is no escaping the impact of the report regarding Jesus resurrection.  Still, the impact is resting on the report you believe.  Are you holding to the report of the guard who hated Jesus and was paid to lie or are you embracing the report of followers of Jesus who joyfully shared the good news of His resurrection?  The report you accept determines your relationship with Jesus.  Something very powerful is carried out by those who embrace the truth of Jesus’ resurrection.  It is revealed in Matthew 28:9, which says:

Matthew 28:9

And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.[5]

Did you notice the worship?  When we truly embrace the report of His resurrection, putting our faith in Him for our salvation, we will worship Him!  To worship is to honor, bless, and praise Him for the superior one He is.  To worship is to celebrate His worth and worthiness.  Worship is given to God alone.  Worship communicates allegiance, dependence, submission, and reverence.  I encourage you to worship the living resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ.  If you believe the report of His resurrection, you will worship Him.

[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Mt 12:22–24.

[2] The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Mt 16:15–16.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mt 28:1–8.

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mt 28:11–15.

[5] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mt 28:9.

[1]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mt 28:9.