Guest Post From Rusty Wright—”Resurrection Article Keeps on Going …”
“Why doesn’t somebody do something?” Ever ask that question?
A few weeks before Easter in 1971, I began to wonder why no one had published an article on evidences for Jesus’ resurrection in our university newspaper, the Duke Chronicle. I was in my final year at Duke and had been following God for about three years. Our campus considered itself intellectually sophisticated. The resurrection evidences were sound; students and professors needed to know this.
“Why doesn’t someone write this article?” I grumbled to myself.
After several days I began to wonder, “MaybeIshould write it.”
What a Novel Idea
Incorporating insights from my mentor, Bob Prall, and others, I wrote the article and took it to the editor, who was Jewish. He read it as we sat in his office; I prayed silently that he would run it. After a few minutes, he looked up and asked, “Can we put this phrase in italics?”, referring to the punch line at the end of the evidences: “Christ is risen.” While I had been praying, he had already decided to use it.
It ranopposite the editorial page. Encouraged by this reception, I approached the local city newspaper one afternoon, but encountered a lone editor on deadline who was too busy to talk. Next door, I showed the article to the radio station manager, who invited me to record it in his studio for broadcast that weekend.
More to Come
God used my efforts to spread His word – and the truth that Jesus lives – via the mainstream, secular media. This excited me. But I had no idea what lay ahead.
Campus Crusade for Christ published a short version of the article in a newspaper distributed at their Explo ’72 music festivalin Dallas featuring Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Billy Graham. An estimated150,000 attended. Later CCC used it in a nationally circulated university outreach publication. Students and campus workers worldwide used reprints as conversation starters.
Newspapers small and large in the US ran it – from the North Myrtle Beach Timesto the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Now, nearly five decades later, it has taken on a life of its own.
The fact that Easter rolls around each year certainly helps. The Manila Bulletin, in the Philippines, published my article in their Easter Sunday edition (250,000 circulation). The Salvation Army ran it in their Easter War Crymagazine (1.2 million circulation). The American Tract Society turned it into an outreach pamphlet in English and Chinese.
Now it’s on the weband—by God’s grace—it has been used by websites and publications based in several nations, including the US, Canada, India, Abu Dhabi, Australia, the UK, Brazil, and Mexico. A Chinese websiteuses it in text and audio formats to help Chinese speakers learn English. People send it in emails to their friends and acquaintances. Like the Energizer Bunny, it just seems to keep going and going and going.
God gets the credit for all this, of course. He did the raising; I simply told the story, as have many others.
You Can Use it Too
The article is available for reprint, gratis, in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Chineseas well as at www.RustyWright.com/Topics/Holiday-and-Seasonal/Easter. Maybe it can help someone you know understand that Jesus lives, loves them, and wants to meet them.
So the next time you find yourself grousing, “Why doesn’t somebody do something?”, be careful. God may have a task ahead for you. You never know where it might lead.
Rusty Wrightis an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds bachelor of science (psychology) and master of theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities.He was also on teaching faculty for the SoCal Christian Writers Conference.