Friday, November 18, 2011

Dead People Stay Dead!!

Christians have become dangerously complacent with their knowledge of the truth. They have followed the pattern of the world and too often consider God common. They haphazardly toss out to an unbelieving world that a man named Jesus was brutally beaten, hung on a cross, stabbed through the chest, buried in an extraordinarily secure tomb, and somehow he walked out alive. Not only did he break every known physics, medical, historical, and logical law known to humankind, he also claimed to be God.

I hear some Christians make such irrational claims of truth with nothing more than the words, “And you should believe this to be saved.” When the person questions them, or does not believe, they are shocked, saddened, or shake their heads in disbelief.  

It is perfectly logical and sane for someone not to believe such radical and anti-intellectual claims.

Good news!

Christian faith is not blind faith. Christian faith is not a leap into the dark or falling blindly off a cliff.

Christian faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Did you hear that? Our faith is not like that of the cults or other false religions that ask you to believe them simply because they say so. Or to follow them and after a while they will enlighten you with “new” knowledge no other human has known before now. No! Christian faith is logical, rational, and based upon solid historical data and medical evidence.

This is what we know and is uncontested by serious scholars:
  1. Detractors of God have spent 2,000 years trying to tell the world where the body of Jesus went. Many of these mockers are brilliant scientists, anthropologists, historians, and various other experts, so this is not an ad hominem attack.
  2. They have devised many theories, but only five make the history books, because they at least hold (held) some merit:
    1. Swoon
    2. Hallucination
    3. Wrong Tomb
    4. Theft
    5. Passover Plot
  3. From the incredible and respectable diligence of the skeptics of God alone (no Bible involved in this deduction), we can decisively and unequivocally know the following facts:
    1. A man named Jesus lived in Jerusalem
    2. A man named Jesus was beaten by Roman soldiers and crucified on a cross
    3. A man named Jesus was buried
    4. A man named Jesus body is no longer in the tomb in which he was buried
    5. A man named Jesus led a life so profound that he altered the known world and haters have spent 2,000 years trying to disprove that which His followers wholeheartedly believed, many of whom died for this belief, and many more believe today. 
Each of the five theories—keep in mind this is the best-of-the-best over 2,000 years could come up with—have been thoroughly defeated.
  1. I will ignore the previous fact and gladly acquiesce to the ardent scoffer’s demand that at least one of them has not been defeated.
  2. I will follow the disdainer’s stipulation and submit that somehow he survived a beating that ripped flesh from all parts of his body causing hypovolemic shock. He was hung on a cross with three seven-inch nails by professional executioners. He was stabbed through the lung and heart. He was buried in a cold, damp, and likely mold infested tomb. He moved the 1,500-2,000 pound boulder uphill, breaking the Roman seal without a squadron of trained soldiers ever noticing what occurred, and he walked seven miles to the disciples’ house. Okay, given, somehow that happened.
  3. Picture the scene as Jesus knocked on the door and said to his followers, “I am your Savior.” No one in their right mind would accept the claims of a man who looked in the shape Jesus would have looked, let alone hundreds and then thousands of believers. A friend—the disciples were the best of friends—would take such a man by the arm and get him both medical and psychological assistance.
  4. We are forced—as many reluctant atheists have stated in the past after a strong review of the evidence—to admit that the preponderance of the evidence weighs heavily toward the events as recorded in and out of the Bible as more likely true than not.
Many atheists/agnostics claim Christians believe in Jesus because they want to. Let me assure you, I do not believe in Jesus because I want to. Think about that: who wants to believe that God will judge them for their thoughts and actions, their family will face a real hell, and that they need to turn from their human instinct ways? That is not something about which I dream. I believe in Jesus, because I can no more deny my very existence than deny the reality of the events as recorded in the Bible and at least twelve extra-biblical sources.

Jesus is real, His words are real, His judgment is real, His wrath is real, and He loves you so much He died for you so you can avoid a real Hell intended for the Devil and his cohorts. “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.” (Romans 10:9)
Salvation is not a prayer nor is it simply words; it is action. Belief is a verb. Faith is something that inherently alters your actions or it is not faith at all (book of James).

I challenge you to disprove the resurrection as so many have tried to do in the past. Not just cursory searches as though you were looking for a recipe for cookies, but a true and diligent study of the known information. Take a few weeks to know for certain you are correct. What else are you doing? Many have set out to disprove His resurrection and have the intellectual integrity to admit their mistake. Sadly, many more have not.

Are You Sure?