Many years ago I read a book by the famous Bible translator J.B. Phillips. The book was about the New Testament and how he saw it as being true. He said as you read the New Testament you recognize that it contains “the ring of truth.”
This is an amazing book. The people of my church have heard that phrase so often that I hear them talking about “the ring of truth.”
I began thinking about the phrase “the ring of truth” yesterday as I was studying and preparing to teach about the resurrection of Jesus as found in Luke 24.
Several aspects of this chapter give evidence of a true story that affected people in such a way that they could never be the same again.
Let me mention a few of these areas.
First, all the participants in this drama had no expectation that the events would end as they did. They had expectations of normal people living in normal times. They had seen their master and leader cruelly executed. Some of the people who went to the tomb to anoint his body had been the same people who watched his lifeless body placed in the tomb.
On that Sunday morning, they were simply going to pay last respects. They had no understanding that they might find an empty tomb.
Second, all those who heard their story had the same kind of reaction. They were shocked, amazed, and incredulous to hear the things they did. In another gospel (the Gospel of John) one of Jesus’ disciples named Thomas simply refused to believe until he could see Jesus alive for himself.
That event contains the ring of truth. After Thomas saw the Lord, he was forever changed. Instead of being weak and afraid, he and the other disciples who had seen the Lord took their message to every part of their known world. Thomas went to India and died there for the sake of Christ as he preached how Jesus had been raised from the dead.
Third, the Gospel writers did something that would be simply unbelievable and unheard of in a made up story.
In their day and their culture, women were not accepted as credible and verifiable sources. In other words, you would never tell that women were the first to see Jesus alive unless that was the way it actually happened.
More than anything else, that has “the ring of truth” to it.
Finally, even after they have seen the Lord, the women and the disciples displayed an attitude of “it’s simply too good to be true.”
That is the response of people who had no expectation of finding an empty tomb or a resurrected Lord. They responded like people who have learned of something that changed their world forever.
As we approach Easter, let us be a people who see again the power – – the life-changing power – – of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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