Gilberto’s family was called by the local police to identify the body of a man that had been murdered. They went down to the morgue, and sure enough their fears were confirmed. The body laying there looked like their Gilberto.
Gilberto’s family and friends gathered for a wake to honor and remember their loved one. Then an unexpected guest arrived – it was Gilberto! Mourners were so shocked to see him alive that some fled for safety, while others fainted from fright. He tried to reassure them saying, “Guys, I'm alive, pinch me!”
Was it a ghost? Was it a miraculous resurrection? No. There was nothing other-worldly about what happened here. It was simply a case of mistaken identity. The body had been misidentified. Perhaps it had some disfiguration or the family couldn’t bear to look too closely at the body that bore a resemblance to Gilberto. However, the emotional impact for the family would be similar to if he had actually come back from the grave. They were given a new chance to have a man in their lives who they thought they had lost forever.
There was another time when mourners were frightened by a real resurrection. We read about it in Luke 24:36-41 (NKJV) 36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, "Peace to you." 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have." 40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, "Have you any food here?"
Like Gilberto’s family, they were frightened. Like Gilberto, Jesus offered his body as evidence that he was alive in the flesh. Unlike Gilberto, there was no mistake here. Jesus had actually been dead and resurrected. He had conquered death and returned to lead his followers to a similar victory. Death would never again hold the same ominous finality. Conversely, for the believer, death is just the beginning of greater things to come. All of which is possible only because of Jesus. You have the chance to have Jesus in your life now because of his resurrection. Are you taking advantage of that chance?