Happy Resurrection Day! Of course, it is more popularly known as ‘Easter,’ but I believe the name ‘Resurrection Day’ is more fitting to the biblical record.
Sunday, April 21, is the date in 2019 that Christians recognize and recall the truth of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead some two millennia ago.
However, also each year at this time skeptics rear their critical heads to attempt discrediting this event. Sadly, many of those same critics claim the mantle of teachers within Christianity.
One example of such was reported at a conference sponsored by the Episcopalian and Methodist denominations. One of the speakers, Robert J. Miller of Juniata College, lectured at the conference and said this,
“I don’t believe the dead body of Jesus got up and walked out of the tomb,” Miller, a Roman Catholic, similarly declared. …”We don’t find evidence that his [Jesus’] body left the tomb, that Jesus considered himself messiah or that his death would be a sort of human sacrifice to atone for sin.” Instead, Miller proposed that Jesus was to be understood as a sage.
The efforts of these critics to disparage Christian faith are morally deficient and wrong about the facts. Moreover, the goal of such people is to turn Christianity into a useful myth.
These critics also misunderstand, deliberately or otherwise, the vital nature and truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Resurrection Is Vital to the Existence of Christianity
The biblical record reveals the necessity of the resurrection of Christ to the faith. There is nothing more vital to the very existence of Christianity than the actual resurrection of Jesus from real death on the cross.
The apostle Paul puts it plainly in 1 Corinthians 15.
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. I Corinthians 15:17-20
There is no faith in a Christ who did not rise from the dead. If Jesus did not rise as He testified that He would, and as the biblical witness records, then Paul says you have a useless faith and no hope for escaping sin or its penalty.
Hope in Christ is based on His assurance of life eternal for those who follow Him, but it is an empty promise if He Himself did not rise from the grave. If that is the case, every person from the time of Jesus’ disciples until the present, dead or alive followed a false witness.
The fascinating thing about the critics of the resurrection, like Dr. Miller above, is that they inevitably try to deny what Jesus claimed and did, especially miraculously, while also claiming He was a great and good teacher or prophet. Miller himself claims that Jesus was really a “sage,” meaning a wise and good teacher and example.
These so-called “teachers” of the Word are trying to desperately hold onto the symbolism of Christ without any of the substance. That way, they can justify sinful actions and teaching by filling in their own version of ‘substance’ and claiming it aligns with the symbolic teachings of a wise sage.
Plainly put, you can’t have it both ways skeptics. One of my favorite quotes from author C.S. Lewis of “Narnia” fame comes from another work about the reality of Christianity where he makes this very salient point.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Thus the absolute necessity of a true, actual bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from death cannot be overstated. Unless that monumental, unprecedented event really happened, every Christian should abandon the faith and look elsewhere or nowhere for God in this life.
However, we are blessed that the resurrection did happen and Jesus is truly alive today as our Savior and LORD. The evidence for this is abundant and we begin with the words of Paul in the same chapter of 1 Corinthians.
The Resurrection Is the Historic Truth, and More
The historical case for the resurrection is extremely strong and easily refutes the nonsensical blatherings of ‘academic’ doubters. Paul himself begins chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians with multiple eyewitness testimony of the risen LORD Jesus.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 [ESV]
The key to the veracity of Paul’s writing is that Jesus appeared in person after He had died on the cross to hundreds of eyewitnesses who were alive at the time! Paul was also not the only evangelist preaching about the risen Christ at that time.
Peter [Cephas in the text] and the other apostles were preaching and teaching the resurrection as miraculous fact. The events at the cross on Friday before were well-known and Jesus’ enemies would have decimated this account if it were not true.
In the verses that follow Paul puts his and the other apostles’ character on the line. He basically says that if you find out this is a false account, then we are all false witnesses under Jewish law.
As a Pharisee, Paul would know that the penalty for committing false witness could go as high as death, [Deuteronomy 19:18-21]. In fact, all those who preached the resurrection as fact risked death from the religious and political authorities of the day.
This is the second point that gives evidence for the resurrection as a true event. The early martyrs for Christ all died believing the resurrection was real, and many of them actually saw Jesus alive after they had watched Him die on the cross!
No one risks death for something they don’t believe is true. Granted, people can and do risk life and limb for things they believe to be true but are in fact false, but that doesn’t answer the matter of the eyewitnesses.
The skeptics’ objection to this is that the witnesses saw an illusion that was really a ‘spiritual’ resurrection and not a bodily one. This means that hundreds of people all saw the identical mass illusion, which is basically an impossibility.
Furthermore, Jesus Himself rebukes this fantasy with His actions and words after He rose from the dead.
And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. Luke 24:38-43 [ESV]
In other pieces, I have covered more evidence for the resurrection, such as the lack of a body in the tomb and refuted the so-called “swoon theory,” which claims Jesus didn’t really die but revived in the tomb and somehow moved the stone and escaped the notice of the Roman guards.
There are numerous excellent volumes which do a more thorough job of giving proof of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. A couple of these that I recommend are Josh McDowell’s “Evidence That Demands a Verdict,” and a small but powerful book with the title, “Faith Founded on Fact,” by John Warwick Montgomery.
If one is not particularly enamored of reading detailed books, I would recommend looking up two places I use on YouTube. One is known as Inspiring Philosophy and another is the ministry of apologist Ravi Zacharias. They have been a great aid to me in my continuing study.
The conclusion is this, followers of Jesus Christ can be sure that He has risen and overcome death and the grave, and we can all rejoice in that fact! Hallelujah, He is risen indeed!
Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001
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So I posted on my blog, acliddle.blog, yesterday that was unable to walk due to rain and the migraine that came with it.
Today it is still raining and while I do not feel sick, I have lost my voice, and I am fatigued.
Rather than another missed post I thought I would tell a couple of stories about loose cows.
I am not sure how they got out but in both cases their escapes were precipitated by…well precipitation..rain, and storms. I am not sure if the cows became restless or what but there it is.
The first story: I was driving home from work, on the backroads through the country. Ahead of me I saw three cars in the on coming lane with their flashers on. Then I saw in my lane, heading towards me a what looked to be pregnant cow. I was able to get around her, for she was not to be detoured from her path. Further down the road I saw the possible pasture she had escaped from. Then I noticed in the ditch another cow who had decided to take a walk. This cow did not look pregnant.
The second story: Today I was riding with a friend; we were going into town for errands. We came around a curve, right before a small bridge and there meandering around, were six cows on the side of road. Not sure what pasture they came from. They were gone by the time we were headed back.
Journal—An Ongoing Dialog Between thiaBasilia And Master Yahuwah/Yahushua. …
Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 10:06 pm.
Time Is Telling No Doubt ….
The human element is going on, on queue –Knowledge. Business. Entertainment. Romantic Love. Noble humanistic ways, on and on the busyness goes on and on, but!
Time is telling. Time is saying—loudly lovingly saying, “I AM COMING TO MY END. BEWARE, O HUMAN, BEWARE!
Ha! A Doomsayer! Nonsense! Maybe Not. Read On …?
This day is coming to an end with a great note! O my Father? You are full of wonderful surprises for Your child.
Yesterday was a downer, but! Today? It turned out to be an upper! The cause? Whatsapp. SIWO Board Members. My inability to type in the phone screen.
All that insidious junk running through my carnal mind, but! My Father’s love and wisdom prevailed. Father whispered to me:
“Go to Whatsapp in your desktop. Read the instructions carefully to activate the app in your computer so you can type your heart out to communicate with the Board at SIWO.”
Wow! This time? In no time all my computer is set to handle whatsapp from my desktop. What a feat conquered!
Victory! Defeat! Up! Down, But! ….?
It’s now 11:35 pm. Suspense. Nothing has happened for the last couple of hours. I find myself as usual? Not knowing which way to turn, but! That’s only momentarily.
Anyhow? I’ll go to bed. Things will look better when I wake up if? I go to sleep. Perhaps things would look worse. No matter. In glee or gloom? You always zoom!
Good Reason To Sit Still And Wait ….?
Monday, April 16, 2018 at 3:07 am.
O my Father, thanks for Your Presence. I am not alone. Even so, the human element is not to be found, but!
You have good reason for things to be the way they are. I must sit still if I want to see Your deliverance.
It’s now 6:44 am. Indeed! I MUST sit still. I haven’t got the slightest about what’s happening with me. Nor have I the slightest about what’s happening in my world.
Definitely? My Eyes Are Set On You. The Human Element? I Now Understand It.
Whether the human element recognizes You in me or not? You are in perfect control of the human element
Me? I am human. You are in control of every minute detail of my life. Your children? My children and brothers and sisters.
Father’s Wisdom Prevails In My Life ….?
I continue to find myself so full of laughter, compassion, immense undying love for all my deserters and children and brothers and sisters!
Whatever happens between them and myself? Once I get over my shock? I continue to hear:
“Think like I think, respond! Reason with your brother et all. Reason with the wisdom I have instilled within your being.”
So, That’s What I Do. Then? The Vicious Circle! Shucks!….?
I get bent out of shape because I don’t get standing ovation from mine? O dear! What a tricky thing this carnal self of mine is!
Nay! I Am Human, But! No Need To Act Like The Wicked Human That I Am ….?
What I write? What I say? What I do? It’s all from the innocent child’s heart my Father gifted to me. It ALL comes from my Father’s heart not from my wicked human self.
It’s unbelievable the pickles I get myself into from telling ALL people—female, male, young or old, “I love you! Give me a hug!” Never thinking of how it sounds.
The Shock Of My Life ….?
It was not until I came to these parts of the world that I got the shock of how people takes the famous 3 letters word, I LOVE YOU. Can you believe it, dear Reader?
The first instruction given to me when I arrived to these parts of the world? “Do not tell these men, ‘I love you’ for they take it you mean you want to go to bed with them.”
What? That Was A Shock Of Shocks, But!
An even worse shock? NO HUGS! Not even shaking hands. Do not touch the male element at all.
Even the women. If it is a friend? You kiss on their left and right cheek. If it is a fond friend? You kiss two or three times, but! Men?
It’s Totally Amusing To Me ….?
If we are visiting in their parlor and the husband or brother appears and announces a male visitor? The woman quickly get up and leave the room—they run for cover!
I remain in the room not knowing what’s happening because I don’t speak the language. Immediately, the male visitors appear with their respectful greetings.
I Am Ignored Like I Am Not There At All ….?
I watch. They pretty much ignore my presence. They simply go on with whatever their visit is about. Later on? I’m instructed. I do not have to run for cover. I am exempt. Phew!
The Tradition Must Be Kept ….?
If the woman goes to the roof or in any public place? She MUST cover her head least a man sees her uncovered head and takes her for a bad woman.
Of course, all that is changing. The older woman are having a time to get their young daughters to stick to the tradition, so? They tell them all kind of incentives for them to do so.
The Television ….?
Unfortunately? The television industry is prevailing over any such traditions. The young girls go now with ripped tight fitting jeans and Western style fashions in addition to the head cover. Beats the world out of old fashion me!
Anyhow? Coming To My Bout With The Human Element ….?
My Father’s mercy for me! He knows me like a book. I am His little girl. I amuse Him. Yes, I do, but!
The human element? They do not—better yet? They CANNOT understand nor accept my reality as my Father’s little girl. For the most? They think such to be nonsense! So I been told.
Regardless! I am what I am by my Father’s design and purpose for my birth and life in these earthly grounds. Here lately?
No More Begging For Human Approval.
No more begging for standing ovation. No more regard for whatever my carnal mind and heart can come up against my little girl’s reality in the Presence of my Loving Father.
Father’s Love And Wisdom Prevails In My Heart And Mind. I Think Like He Thinks ….?
I’m going on. Father’s love and wisdom prevails. In my heart there rings a melody of Father’s love for all. No problem anymore. I think as my Father thinks. I’m going on!
Meantime and until the next post? His love in my heart for you and for all stays there to stay for eternity, thiaBasilia.