The religion writer of our local newspaper suggested the only proof of the resurrection is
that of Jesus being alive in the hearts of those who believe in him. (How wrong can he
be?!) The following Top Ten Reasons are from the letter I wrote in response.
#10- The Jewish prophecies speak of "One who would die for the sins of many" (Isaiah 53:4-5). The Apostle Paul points out that without the resurrection, we would still be in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17). Something the religion writer should seriously consider!
#9- Lack of evidence in the empty tomb. You cannot collect evidence from a missing body.
#8- The guarded tomb. The punishment for a Roman guard falling asleep was punishable by death (Matthew 27:62-66).
#7- No dead body, Rome and the chief priests would have produced the body in order to squelch the mounting evidence of the resurrection. Instead, they bribed the guards to lie. So, where's the body? (Matthew 28:11-15).
#6- Women were given a place of honor by becoming the first evangelists. Jesus showed his resurrected body to women first. Only Jesus would have given women, especially in that day, this honor: Jesus told them to, "Go and tell my brothers, the disciples, the good news" (Matthew 28:1-10). If this were a fairy tale, men would have been the culturally accepted ones to first discover the empty tomb. In fact, a woman's testimony wasn't even accepted in a court of law at that time. There's no way the writers of that day, if they expected to be believed, would have written that women were the first witnesses.
#5- More eyewitness testimony: over 500 people saw Jesus' resurrected body at the same time! (1 Corinthians 15:6)
#4- The skeptical sibling. James, Jesus' half-brother, did not follow Jesus. The gospels do not record James being present during Jesus' ministry or even at his crucifixion. In fact, Jesus commended his mother to John, his disciple, and not to James his brother (John 19:26-27). Siblings have a way of keeping it real! But everything changed for James after he saw his older brother resurrected! James came to know firsthand that his sibling wasn't crazy after all. He discovered that Jesus was indeed the Promised Messiah and became one of the leaders of the Jerusalem church until his execution in 62-AD, according to the historian, Josephus.
#3- The disciples were no longer cowards. They were willing to die for what they knew was true. If Jesus Christ wasn't raised from the dead, if it weren't true, Peter, the other disciples, and the rest of the early Christians, would have remained silent to protect themselves from persecution, torture, and death. Many people die for what they believe, but the disciples and followers of Jesus died for what they knew to be true! You don't die for something you know to be a lie!
#2- The Apostle Paul, was a well-known, devout Jew, who hated Christians and wanted to kill them, until he met the risen LORD. That would have been like Osama Bin Laden becoming a Christian and then telling the world about it.
The #1 reason to believe in the resurrection of Jesus: Because he said so (John 2:19-20)! Jesus predicted his death and resurrection. Jesus cannot be just a good man or a prophet as some call him. He was either a liar who deceived millions of people for centuries, or he was crazy, because he called himself God, or he told the truth, which means he is the Risen Christ!
This is what God requires, "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved" Romans 10:9-10 (ESV).
You decide. Your eternity depends on it!
Copyright 2002 Sarah A. Keith
Watch Resurrection: Can the Bible be Trusted?
| by Dr. James Tour
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