I watched the Netflix series Stranger Things and it captured my attention and imagination. If you have not seen the series, I am not endorsing it because it’s not Christian in any way, but it did make me think about the fact that there is more to life than what we can see.
The first season of Stranger Things focused on the investigation into the disappearance of a young boy amid supernatural events occurring around the town. I think the series resonates because we intuitively know that there is more to life than what we can see, and that ordinary people can be used to reveal an extraordinary event.
There isn’t a stranger thing in history than Easter. Easter is about a man who claimed to be the Son of God. He heals people supernaturally, is crucified by jealous people, his followers all scatter, three days later he rises from the dead, preaches for another 40 days, and then ascends to be with God the Father. And if that’s not strange enough, his ragtag group of disciples get re-energized after seeing him resurrected. The movement that started in Jerusalem spreads and today there are more than 2.3 billion people who claim to follow Christ, some under intense persecution. That is roughly 31% of the world’s population. This whole story is a stranger thing, but it’s the real thing, and because of Easter, it can also be your thing.
I want you to consider believing in Jesus based on three stranger things. The first stranger thing is that women were the first witnesses to his resurrection. Culture 2,000 years ago was very different than it is now. Men dominated society and a woman’s life was confined almost entirely within the private family sphere. Yet God revealed the resurrection to an average woman first. How cool is that!
The second stranger thing was that outcasts became outspoken. Peter, James, and Mark were all the equivalent of high school drop outs. They were fishermen, not noblemen. And after Jesus died they went back to work completely defeated. Their teacher had died and they had left in shame. According to John 21:4-7 Peter, James, and Mark are back working as fishermen when they hear Jesus call out to them. Once they realize it is Jesus they rush to greet him and even share dinner. These men became the first leaders of the early church. The New Testament records at least 12 separate appearances of Jesus after his Resurrection. These are eyewitness accounts. Why is this so strange? Because Jesus appeared to average people first and other people eagerly joined them. Shepherds, tax collectors, women of the night, a prominent Jewish leader, outcasts of all types. These were the people who God used to start His church and it just doesn’t make sense.
The third strange things is that Jesus followers would rather die than deny him. On the day Jesus was crucified, Jesus disciples were frightened, confused, dazed, fearful, disoriented, and disheartened. They truly believed that Jesus was dead and that they would never see him again. Peter had denied him and the other disciples wouldn’t go close the crucifixion scene. Only John would come near the cross. After Jesus died, many of his disciples locked themselves in a room because they feared for their lives.
Fast forward a few short weeks and these same disciples who were hiding in shame are now standing in the temple courts preaching to anyone and everyone. What changed? There is only one credible explanation for such a radical change. They had seen the risen Christ and that sight had changed them forever.
There is nothing stranger than the resurrection and nothing more powerful. Jesus proves once and for all that there is more to life than what we can see, the kingdom of God is real and you can experience it yourself here and now and for all eternity if you put your faith and trust in Him.
You can place your faith and trust in him by asking him to forgive your sins and come into your life. The Apostle Paul writes: “8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:8-9. Take a moment and invite Jesus into your life today.