Confident Faith

John 11:25 ~Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies."

Easter is a time we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus is an historical fact and cornerstone of Christianity. It is a cornerstone we can rest assured is solid and unbreakable yet many do not know how to explain to other of our certainty with respect to the resurrection. One easy way to explain it is through the use of an acronym originated by the bible teacher Hank Hanegraaff1. The acronym is

F Fatal torment
E Empty Tomb
A Appearances of Christ
T Transformation.

The F reminds us that Christ was Crucified and died while on the cross. The spear thrust into his side by the Roman guard pierced Christ’s pericardium and entered His heart. The water came from Christ’s pericardium (which surrounds the heart) and the blood from His heart. Christ was dead when he was taken from the cross.

The E reminds us that Christ’s tomb was empty and that he has risen from the dead. New testament scholars agree that the body of Jesus was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. The Pharisees and Sadducees did not deny that the tomb was empty instead they made up a story to tell everyone namely in Matthew 28 12-14 “12 And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 and said, "You are to say, 'His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.' 14 "And if this should come to the governor's ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble."

The A reminds us that Jesus appeared to many people after His resurrection. First were Mary Magdalene and the other Mary – Matthew 28:1-5. He talked with the disciples on the Emmaus road - Luke 24:13–35. He appeared to Peter – Luke 24:34 He appeared to the eleven with Thomas not present ands then to Thomas and the eleven – John 20:26. Jesus also appeared to more than 500 at the same time. Paul details it in this way in 1 Corinthians 15:6-8 “After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time”. What is sometimes missed in these verses is that Paul tells his readers most of those people to whom Jesus appeared are still alive while he was writing Corinthians. In essence, if you don’t believe it ask those people who have seen Him, most are still around. It is hard to deny the accounts of eyewitnesses.

The T reminds us of the Transformation of the Apostles. Remember that all the apostles fled that night in the Garden of Gethsemane. Peter even denied knowing Christ three times because He was afraid of capture and possible death himself. What transformed the apostles from fugitives into fearless preachers of the Gospel risking and undergoing imprisonment, torture and death for what they believed? The apostles would never undergo these things for what they knew to be a lie. They saw and knew that Christ was alive and risen from the dead. They had proof that since Christ had conquered death, faith in Christ would allow them to do the same. After seeing Christ risen and alive the apostles were indeed transformed.

This Easter and anytime someone asks you to explain why you believe in the Gospel maybe you can use the acronym FEAT.

God Bless and Happy Easter.

Matt Schneider

1. Hank Hanegraaff The resurrection (Word Publishing 2000) page 15.

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