By: Jan White
Suppose someone questioned the fact of Christ’s resurrection from the grave after His death by crucifixion. How would you answer?
You could reply with the Apostle Paul’s list of those who saw the risen Lord, including Peter, the twelve, and “over five hundred brethren at once” (1 Corinthians 15:6). Then, to complicate matters, the person refuses to accept the Bible’s eyewitness accounts. How would you make a convincing case to prove the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
In his book, Loving God, the late Charles Colson makes the case for Christ’s resurrection based on his Watergate experience. Names like John Dean, Bob Haldeman, and Colson are remembered for their involvement in the scandal that forced President Nixon to resign in 1972.
Chuck Colson, who was convicted for obstruction of justice, wrote about his role in the cover-up in “Loving God.” He recalled the burglary of the office in the Watergate building of the National Democratic Committee and the investigation of Nixon administration officials.
Colson told of John Dean contacting prosecutors to “bargain his testimony for immunity.” The cover-up conspiracy was discovered. “With the most powerful office in the world at stake, a small band of hand-picked loyalists, no more than ten of us, could not hold a conspiracy together for more than two weeks,” Colson points out.
But what does Watergate have to do with the resurrection of Jesus? Colson cited the accusation that the apostles removed Christ’s body from the tomb (Matthew 28:13). Even 2,000 years ago, there were some who refused to believe the resurrection.
Based on his Watergate experience, Colson believes there couldn’t have been a conspiracy because 11 men wouldn’t have defended a lie with their lives. Each of them kept telling about Christ’s life, death, and resurrection to anyone who would listen, until their last breath.
Church historians record that Peter was killed by crucifixion. He requested to be executed upside down, considering himself unworthy to be crucified the same as Christ. Andrew was also crucified. He hung for two days praising God and telling spectators to believe. James was slain with a sword by Herod.
Colson states, “Take it from one who was inside the Watergate web looking out, who saw firsthand how vulnerable a cover-up is: Nothing less…(than the witness of Someone)…as awesome as the resurrected Christ could have caused those men to maintain to their dying whispers that Jesus is alive and Lord.”
There have always been doubters. Maybe you have questioned the authenticity of Jesus’ resurrection. If so, consider accepting for yourself the evidence that led Colson to his belief that, “This weight of evidence tells me the apostles were indeed telling the truth: Jesus did rise bodily from the grave, He is who He says He is.”
Not only is the truth of Christ’s resurrection worth dying for, it’s worth living for. As the hymn writer put it, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…(and I find) life is worth the living, just because He lives.”