This lesson was prompted by an article in our local newspaper. The religion writer proposed that the only proof of the resurrection is from Jesus being alive in the hearts of those who believe in him. (How wrong can he be!) There is a lot more proof than the subjective evidence of Jesus living in a Christian's heart. The following ten points is from a letter I wrote to the editor; The Top 10 Reasons To Believe In The Resurrection:
#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).
#9- Lack of DNA Evidence, which brings me to the next three points:
#8- The empty tomb. You cannot collect evidence from a missing body.
#7- The guarded tomb. The punishment for a Roman guard falling asleep was punishable by death.
#6- If there was a dead body, Rome and the chief priests would have produced it to squelch the mounting evidence of the resurrection. So, where's the body?
#5- Women were given a place of honor by becoming the first apostles. 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." If this were a fairy tale, men would have been the culturally accepted ones to first discover the empty tomb.
#4- Eyewitnesses: over 500 people saw Jesus' resurrected body at the same time! (1 Corinthians 15:6)
#3- The disciples changed from being cowards, to being willing to die for what they saw. 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; 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.
And, 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; he was crazy, because he called himself God; or he told the truth, because is the Risen Christ!
Copyright 2002 Sarah A. Keith
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