Read Matthew 27:57-28:6.

The chief priests and Pharisees went to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate and asked him to set guards at the tomb because they believed Jesus’ words more than His disciples did. They feared the resurrection, and they wanted to stop it.

Pilate must have thought they were out of their religious minds, but he humored the Jewish leaders. He had a seal placed on the tomb. He stationed guards to prevent anyone from disturbing the grave. And yet, on Sunday morning, the seal was broken, the stone was rolled away, and the guards fell like dead men. There was no stopping the resurrection.

Of course, the chief priests and the Pharisees didn’t quit there. They bribed the guards to lie about what had happened, to spread the rumor that the disciples had stolen Jesus’ body (see Matthew 28:11-15). Right—the same disciples who were too scared to come out of hiding after Jesus was arrested overpowered burly Roman soldiers and took the body of the Lord. Not exactly a believable story, but the religious leaders had to try something, I suppose!

Even after that, their opposition continued. The disciples spent forty days with the resurrected Jesus; they were empowered by the Lord and began performing signs and wonders in His name. They preached the Gospel and brought more people into the Way of Jesus. So, the religious leaders locked them up, tried to silence them, and even killed some of them. But even that could not stop the power of the resurrection. The persecution only emboldened the faith of Jesus’ followers and brought more people into the fold.

Just as those religious leaders tried to deny the resurrection all those years ago, there are many people today doing the same thing. For, if the resurrection is true, then Jesus has a claim upon our lives. He calls us to something wonderful, of course. He gives us comfort, joy, peace, a sure hope, an eternal inheritance, and more—but He does require that we submit to Him as Lord. To be a Christian is to believe in the resurrection (see Romans 10:9 and 1 Corinthians 15:12-20). There is no seal that can keep the Truth silenced, no stone that can be rolled into place to limit the power of our great God, and no guard who can stop the Lord from bringing salvation to all those who call upon His name.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the resurrection—for the promise of my own! I know there is nothing that can stop Your resurrection power at work in my life. May I submit to Your will, remembering Your promise that all things work for my good as Your child. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay” (Matthew 28:6).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Stopping the Resurrection?: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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