By Chaplain (Col) Stephen W. Leonard, USA, Ret.

Very interesting for your meditation and mine is that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was accomplished without one eye on earth seeing it happen. Unless one of the tomb-guarding soldiers was peeking, which, out of their sheer terror and the Bible’s description of the soldiers’ distraction, I seriously doubt. No one saw the stone being rolled away and Jesus walking out of the tomb, except angels.

It was not necessary, anyway, for the stone to be rolled away, except for our sakes. This was for the eyewitnesses and for all of us to know the tomb was empty, for it could and was examined. Jesus, later on that day, entered the disciples’ presence in the upper room in His newly resurrected body without using a door! So, it appears he could have walked out of the tomb without going through the entrance.

The resurrection, accompanied by spectacular, radiant light and supernatural power, a power that also removed the heavy stone over the entrance of the tomb, a massive stone officially and securely sealed; this resurrection really happened.

The obscurity from public witness allowed the soldiers to be bribed about their own paralyzing, blinding terror. Their guarding mission having utterly failed, they could have been executed. Instead, they were enriched by a bribe, guaranteeing their silence, with accompanying lies; a silence, if loosed, would have led to their executions.

But ultimate power was applied to Jesus’ human body and soul, dead since Friday, to be reinvigorated with life. This power of His resurrection was far greater than mere stone-moving. It raised Jesus from real death to life.

Was the earlier resurrection of Lazarus any different? Oh, yes, it was. Because a crowd witnessed it—a crowd of family, friends, and enemies, among whom were authorities and important persons. When this resurrection received the very notorious attention among the populace and Jesus was being widely praised, those authorities conspired to put Lazarus to death once more, just as they conspired to put Jesus to death. They could not abide the popular acclaim Jesus was receiving.

Jesus’ resurrection, though not immediately witnessed by any other person, was supported by great evidence other than that. Most of the public evidence after His resurrection was provided by these followers who fellowshipped with Him in person. They talked, felt, and ate with Him. Over 500 of them interacted with the living Jesus.

But, additionally, there was an empty tomb, even though guarded vigilantly by Roman soldiers with an entrance securely sealed, and there was no body of Jesus ever found, even though Pilate ordered a massive, but fruitless search.

The living testimony of those who were with the risen Christ, immediately after His resurrection, was overwhelming. These witnesses, apostles, disciples, and followers went to their deaths, many as martyrs, fully affirming Jesus’ resurrection. Not one denied what they had personally observed for the purpose of escaping their own deaths.

But those who pierced and killed Him did not see Him, not the authorities or the mob who condemned him to death, not Annas, Caiaphas, or Pilate. With purpose and plan, Jesus’ resurrection was witnessed by those God intended. The others, not seeing Him then, after, or since, or even all of us today, must consider the great evidence; then either personally deny it, cementing their guilt, or personally believe it, securing their salvation.

You and I are of those who were not eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. We must rely on the testimony of God’s Word. We must rely on the unassailable record of those who were there. We must rely on our faith in the Son of God.

We know for certain Jesus was raised from death and lives today. We also know because Jesus was raised, so shall we.

If, by faith, you are in the family of God, you will live in eternity with Him, the Triune God, your Father, with His Son, and the blessed Holy Spirit. You are of those who truly know of God’s authority over death, and that He, with the Lord Jesus, will raise you to life.

This resurrection month, which celebrates Easter on its last day, is a month to refresh your faith and your life in Jesus. The risen Christ is why we do what we do with troubled boys and why we have done it for 63 years.

His resurrection assures us that what He accomplishes through the PAYH lasts forever. The salvation of these boys He sends to us is the ultimate purpose of this ministry. One day in the future, we trust to see many of them stand beside us in glory. Let this always be, by God’s grace, our passionate desire for the work of the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

Strength For The Day

Each week, PAYH shares a devotional; “Strength For The Day,” by Chaplain (Col) Stephen W. Leonard, USA, Ret. In addition to being a retired US Army Chaplain, he is also the husband of our Co-Founder, Glenda Anderson Leonard. His writing is both moving and inspiring and will most certainly lift your spirit and encourage you in your walk with Jesus. To receive his weekly writing, you can subscribe online at You can also read past writings by clicking here.

Kassten’s Testimony

From drugs and stealing to finding God, Kassten has found a new life in Christ. The Paul Anderson Youth Home helped him to discover hope and purpose in his life. Click on the video to hear his testimony in his own words.

Thank You, Pizza Wholesale And Hunt Advantage Group

PAYH is thankful to have the partnership and support of Michael Akins with Pizza Wholesale of Lexington, Inc. and Hunt Advantage Group. We appreciate your generous contribution to giving young men a second chance at life.

Noah’s Parents’ Interview

“If you’re on the fence about sending your son, don’t wait! It’s not going to get better on its own. If you have a child who needs help that’s beyond your ability to provide for them, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent. It just means that child needs something more than you’re able to provide.” —Brandy Carlson.

Listen to a firsthand account of one of our PAYH alumnus’ parents, and their advice to other parents facing difficulty with their son.

Thank You, Society of St. Andrew

Community is such an important part of PAYH. We are so thankful to Angela Partain (Regional Director) and Anna Foreman (Program Coordinator) with the Society of St. Andrew for taking the time to come and speak to the young men on the Georgia Gleaning Network Program. This ministry is a volunteer-driven network that comes together to enter fields after farmers have finished harvesting and simply pick up the tons of good produce left behind. The volunteers are from all walks of life, joining in partnership to feed the hungry. The life’s lessons of giving back are always being modeled here at PAYH.

Thank You Nickey Gregory And Sam McCaw

The PAYH would like to thank Andrew from the Nickey Gregory Company for the delicious monthly contribution of fruits and vegetables to the Home. The boys are kept healthy and happy through the nutritious food supplied. And thank you to Sam McCaw, who takes the time out of his busy schedule to both pick up and deliver the goods for us to enjoy. Thank you both!

Scandinavian And German Cusine Samples

The fun with the young men continues with their virtual travels to the countries of Scandinavia and Germany. While “visiting” the other lands, they tried many snacks and compared them to the ones we eat here. Some of the food was a shock to their taste buds. All in all, it gives one an appreciation for American cuisine.

The PAYH Woodworking Crafts

The PAYH Woodworking Crafts. Learning a craft is both fun and challenging. The boys are always up to the challenge, as Oggie works with them closely during their wood-turning sessions. They are already displaying their talents by creating and showing off the pens they have made. Way to go, guys! We are so proud of you!

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