Tuesday BS#2: Evidences for the Resurrection.
A. Christ Jesus, a Historical Person: Could Jesus be a mere legend or a mythical figure like the Greek gods or like Malakas in a Filipino folklore with Maganda?
B. The Uniqueness of Christ: Could Jesus be just a great man, the founder of a great religion?
C. Eyewitness Accounts: Bible verse, Matthew 27:62, 28:15
1. How did the Jewish leaders and the Roman governor make sure no one stole the body of Jesus from the tomb? Matt. 27:66
2. Who saw that the tomb where Jesus was buried was empty? Matthew 28: 1-6
3. How did the Jewish leaders cope with the fact of the empty tomb? Matthew 28:11-15
D. Convincing a Skeptic: How do we know that Christ Jesus really rose from the dead?
How do we know that the tomb was empty?
Theories on why was the tomb empty: Did the disciples steal the body of Jesus?
Did Jesus only faint on the cross, and inside the tomb, he regained consciousness and came out?
Why is it not possible that the Jewish leaders or the Roman authorities took the body of Jesus away?
A. Jesus the Christ, a Historical Person
Christ Jesus is not a mere myth. He, like Napoleon Bonaparte and Confucius, is a historical person. History books attest to this, even our calendar dating (September 20, 2018 AD means 2018 years had passed from the time of Jesus’ birth). If Christ Jesus were a mythical figure, saying “this year is 2018” would have no meaning.
B. The Uniqueness of Christ Jesus
- All founders of religions in the world lived and died. Only Christ Jesus rose from the dead. It shows that only He has the power to overcome death and the power to give us life.
- Even before Christ Jesus was put to death by crucifixion, He rightly predicted that He will rise again three days after He died (John 2:19-22). It shows that Jesus was (and is) in full control of history.
- Notice how Jesus taught. Observe how He lived. Examine the miracles that He did making the lame walk and the blind see. .. All these point to a man unique in the history of mankind. Then comes His resurrection. What more do we need to be convinced that Christ Jesus is really God.
C. Eyewitness Accounts
- The Jewish leaders and the Roman governor made sure no one stole the body of Jesus from the tomb when they put a seal on the stone and posted guards (Matthew 27:66).
- Mary Magdalene and the other Mary saw that the tomb where Jesus was buried was empty (Matthew 28:1-6).
- The Jewish leaders coped with the fact of an empty tomb by bribing the guards to say that Jesus’ disciples stole the body of the Christ.
Convincing a Skeptic: We know that Christ Jesus really rose from the dead with the evidence that is threefold. 1. The tomb was empty 2. Jesus appeared many times to His disciples 3. Jesus is alive today and interacts with those who truly believe in Him.
- The Empty Tomb: History books say that there was a man named Jesus who was crucified by the Roman authorities and died. After that Jesus’ disciples claimed that Jesus rose from the dead, and they spread the news. History books also record that the followers of Christ Jesus (first called as Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26) were tortured and killed by the Roman authorities for their beliefs. Thousands of tourists today in Rome visit the remains of the Colosseum where the early Christians were thrown to the lions by the Romans.
- We Know that the Tomb was Empty: It was obvious that if the tomb was not empty, Jewish leaders and Roman authorities could have simply produced the body of Jesus to refute the reports of the resurrection. This would have nipped Christianity in the bud. But, instead, they persecuted the early Christians. Hence, without using the Bible, and using logic alone, we can deduce that the tomb was indeed empty.
Theories Why The Tomb Was Empty:
- Perhaps, the disciples stole the body, which is not possible. Because the disciples were so scared, all of them, except John, were scattered when Jesus was crucified. Even if, they eventually gathered enough courage to try to steal the body, the tomb was guarded by Roman soldiers. Even if the disciples succeeded in bribing the soldiers (assuming) to let them steal the body, later on, when the Jewish and Roman authorities were putting the Christians to death, WHY DIDN’T THEY RECANT? Nobody is foolish enough to die for his OWN LIE
- Perhaps, Jesus only fainted on the cross, inside the tomb, he regained consciousness and came out. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE. Roman soldiers were expert executioners. They made sure that the prisoners they crucified were dead before they brought them down from the cross. In the case of Jesus, they not only confirmed that He was already dead, they pierced His side with a spear just to really make sure. SUPPOSING, for the sake of argument, that Jesus were still alive and regained consciousness in the tomb, how could He roll away the huge stone which blocked the tomb, a stone which three women felt unable to tackle? And how about the Roman guards? And then how could he walked miles on pierced and wounded feet, surviving in hiding while wanting medical treatment, before finally yielding to His suffering? How could such a person have given the disciples the impression that He was a conqueror over death, the Prince of Life: an impression which lay at the bottom of the disciples’ future ministry?
In that case, they could just have produced the body and stopped all the talk about Jesus’ resurrection. CHRIST JESUS REALLY ROSE FROM DEATH!
SOURCE: A Step-By-Step Approach to the Christian Life, Bertram Lim