How can you honestly believe that Jesus rose from the dead?
This is huge question because if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then the bible is just a bunch of history books with some made up stories in between or if Jesus did really rise from the dead then he must be the Son of God and it’s you and me who must make a decision whether to follow him or not and I personally chose the side with the Son of God on it.
“Miracles are just weird!!!”
In Mark 5 v 21-43…
The sickness and death we see in this story is so normal in this time because everyone had just excepted that this is how it was due to the fallen world. Sickness and death were never meant to be around though (Genesis 1-2) and neither will they be present in the new creation (Revelation 21-22). Therefore when God restores life and heals, he is bringing back to normality.
The discipled claim that Jesus rose from the dead 3 days after his crucification. This leaves 3 options about what actually happened:
- The disciples lied
- The disciples were conned
- Jesus did actually rise from the dead.
Claim 1 -“The body was stolen – he never came back to life”
In Matthew 28 v 11-15, we already see the first attempt to explain away the empty tomb:
The Guards’ Report
“While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.”
This is already flawed in a number of ways. The Christian claim is not based on an empty tomb but on a physical Jesus being seen and Jesus having communication with his disciples and others. Paul invites readers to look back to eye witness accounts in 1 Corinthians 15 v 3-6.
Another point that shows this is not a fabricated story is that in the account of Jesus being seen after his resurrection shows that he was first met by two women, if this had been a made up story there is very little chance the author would have shown to women as the first to see Jesus as women were not seen in as higher regard as men, therefore using a woman to try and prove a made up point would be totally illogical.
One last point is that the disciples were drastically changed by seeing Jesus, after his resurrection. The disciples were willing to go out and ultimately die because of what they believed and said to others. All but one disciple was martyred (and John was sent and imprisoned on an island) because of the way the lived and shared Christ. Would all the disciples really have given up everything and ultimately died because of a lie they had made up?
Claim 2 – “The disciples were deceived – Jesus never really died”
This theory is called swoon theory, were Jesus passed out and came back around in the tomb and never really died. This is just completely flawed. Jesus was beaten so badly he couldn’t carry his cross and then he was crucified. The Roman soldiers then pierced him in his side and a sudden flow of water and blood came out, this is evidence he was definitely dead. The Roman soldiers, were trained professional in the execution of criminals, they would not have missed someone just being passed out.
Claim 3 – “My Lord and my God”
In John 20 v 24-32 we see the sceptical Thomas finally accept the truth of the resurrection. It wasn’t easy from him to accept but he did, he couldn’t reject the risen Jesus.
“Nothing in history can be proven the way we prove something in a laboratory. However the resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact much more fully attested to the most other events in history that we take for granted” (Timothy Keller)
A large part of the issue now, is that people are unwilling to do the research and look into the resurrection themselves, it’s easier to take what other people say rather then look up the facts for themselves.
So why does it matter if Jesus did rise from the dead?
The resurrection has proven the penalty of sin has been dealt with in full. If the penalty of sin is dealt with and we are all sinners we must come to Christ. The penalty was paid through the resurrection and Jesus being the Son of God, Death has been defeated by Jesus coming back to life, there will be a day of Judgement as the bible says in Acts 17 v 31.
Where will you stand on that final Judgement day?
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This post was written by Pete Oram, an intern at Gold Hill and one of the leaders in our youth ministry and online assistants.
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