THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History


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Why Sound Doctrine Leads to Effective Action for Good

Our lives are in much better shape if we take Him seriously, if we follow Him and live according to His example.

The Story of Easter (Jesus' Sacrifice)

Persons who hold this approach see in life a resurrection principle. Even as the tulips.

Jesus died and was buried. However, what He taught lives on. This is classic Protestant theological liberalism, which emphasizes the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. Jesus was the finest expression of humanity. His teachings were so wonderful that, when He died, His example and spirituality is resurrected within us. This is a more common viewpoint than some of us might realize.

Chafin, a pastor for many years in Texas, tells about one Easter season in which he read a chapter a day from a devotional book written by a minister who was quite prominent approximately one hundred years ago. The book focused on the events of Holy Week. Chafin timed his reading so that he could read the chapter on the crucifixion on Good Friday and the one on the resurrection on Easter Eve. He describes his letdown as he read the last chapter in that book.

Resurrection of Jesus

The author did not believe the resurrection literally took place. He felt that the accounts of the resurrection in the Bible were nothing but faith's expression of what the disciples had wanted to happen. The author had imagined an Upper Room scene in which they were all lamenting that one who had loved so freely should have died as the object of such hatred, that one whose teaching had such authority should be silenced so young.

Then, in the scenario he was imagining, he had one of the disciples jump to his feet and shout, "We will not let Him die. The way He lived, we will live. The things He taught, we will teach. The mission He had will become our mission. We will not let Him die. So-called Christian theologians who take this approach refer to "the resurrection event.

They are demythologizing Scripture. They are doing their best to make this supernatural account palatable to the most enlightened mind. They are declaring a spiritual resurrection principle but denying its historical factuality. When they do that, they are pulling the rug out from under the ". They are trying their best to hold onto notions about a loving and forgiving God who won't hold us accountable for our sin. They are troubled by the thought of a blood atonement. They want to preserve all that is pleasant, nice and understandable about the Christian faith without affirming the resurrection.

Let me be very frank. I can understand how a person might have difficulty believing in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. But it would appear to me that that same person would ultimately have a hard time believing in their own romanticizing of the faith into spiritual principles void of the divine authority of Scripture. In fact, it is this denial of the historical facts of the faith that has brought Western European, British and American so-called Christianity into such decline.

Take the facts away, and there's nothing left but bland religious platitudes that are the equivalent of putting rouge and lipstick on a corpse.

THE RESURRECTION: STORY, REALITY, OR THE REAL STORY?

This is what the church has affirmed throughout the past twenty centuries. This is the basis of our faith. The historic teaching of the church is that Jesus Christ literally, physically rose from the dead! You see, these are the terms of your Christian faith. Paul writes reminding you and me of that which is of first importance.

This is an expression of that which God has given to us and that to which we have committed ourselves. Any legal document has its presuppositions, its contractual understanding. There are basic commitments a person agrees to in a mutual negotiation when called to a new job. You are saying, "I will provide certain specific services in exchange for a particular amount of money and additional benefits that you will give me.

You live according to them. Every time we call a new member to our staff here at St. Andrew's, we have a specific contract signed by both parties. We try to be as specific as possible in terms of position description and in terms of what the church is responsible to provide in return. If someone resigns to accept a call elsewhere, it is clearly understood that those conditions have changed. That person will not continue to receive their paycheck and benefits, as they no longer are on the staff of St. We still love the person. We will remain friends. We hope to see the person with some degree of regularity, but the working relationship has changed.

That person's new terms of call are with the new church or institution to which they have accepted a call. You and I can relate to this, can't we? You and I know that we can't have it both ways. There are basic facts of life, and we have to live with the realities of them. There are basic terms, also, to the Christian faith. All the sentimental notions in the world cannot change reality. I am either a United States citizen or I am not.

My admiration of the Swiss does not make me Swiss. The warm feelings I have when I'm in Scotland do not make me a Scot. There are certain terms of citizenship in any earthly kingdom. And there are certain terms for citizenship in the kingdom of God. God has established that kingdom, and the establishment is based on His very nature, which requires righteousness, justice and even wrath. Sin cannot be dealt with lightly. Some must pay the price of sin. The Bible says that He himself bore our sins in His body on the cross that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.


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The Bible says that, on the third day, Jesus Christ rose from the dead. That is why Paul, at this strategic point in his letter to the Corinthians, states emphatically in 1 Corinthians Can the resurrection of Jesus Christ be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt? I remember my own faith struggle during my late high school and early college days. Not only did I find it difficult to believe in the divinity and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I even struggled with the historical existence of this one named Jesus. I remember those times of debate and discussion with my father, a man of honest and sincere faith.

On one occasion, my father, my college roommate, Merold Westphal, and I discussed this matter into the wee hours of the morning. They couldn't give me proof. What they did was begin to help me see that there are evidences that demand a verdict. One can't go on forever in that never-never land of doubt. You have to decide. History records the existence of a man named Jesus of Nazareth.

Casual references in Josephus and Tacitus are amplified by other human writers, such as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — persons who were witnesses to the events of His life. These persons recorded what they saw. We cannot take their reports lightly. I personally would have a hard time proving the historicity of George Washington and the many events surrounding his life. However, there were enough people who did observe him that I feel quite confident that he existed. Perhaps, though, the whole idea is a legend to give some kind of stability to our American way of life.

Resurrection of Jesus - Wikipedia

You and I can play games philosophically. Much of what we believe, we have to take on hearsay, the report of others who observed and carefully recorded their observations.

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We do need to carefully sort out the data. Proof does not come easily.

TRENDING IN OPINION

But there are evidences for the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. These facts stand in the way of all attempts to explain away the resurrection. Tell me, where is His body? It would have been to the authorities' benefit to have done that. There is the circumstance of the precisely disposed graveclothes. There are the numerous appearances over nearly six weeks as Jesus appeared to them individually, in small groups and to large gatherings.

Paul corroborates the record of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He appeared to Mary Magdalene in the garden and to Peter, to the two disciples on the Emmaus road, to the disciples in the locked room with Thomas absent, then to the disciples in the locked room with Thomas present, to the seven on the Sea of Galilee, to over five hundred brothers and sisters.

The very existence of the Christian church bears witness to the fact that something happened to transform a broken, beaten group of losers into men and women who gave their very lives as martyrs for Jesus Christ, whom they had witnessed in His resurrection presence. Every Sunday bears its own witness to the living Christ. That is why we no longer worship on the seventh day the Sabbath.

The first day is the day of resurrection. This is the Lord's Day. Jesus himself, in His revelation to John, states it succinctly, ". I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades'" Revelation 1: As a lawyer I have made up a long study of the evidences for the events of the first Easter Day. To me the evidence is conclusive, and over and over again in the High Court I have secured the verdict on evidence not nearly so compelling.

Inference follows on evidence, and the truthful witness is always artless and disdains effect. The Gospel evidence to the resurrection is of this class, and as a lawyer I accept it unreservedly as the testimony of truthful men to fact that they were able to substantiate. Attempts have been made to explain the resurrection accounts naturalistically. German rationalist Venturini suggested that Jesus only fainted on the cross and subsequently revived in the cool tomb.

The theologian John Warwick Montgomery wrote:. This "swoon theory" is typical of all such arguments: They are infinitely more improbable than the resurrection itself, and they fly squarely in the face of the documentary evidence. Jesus surely died on the cross, for Roman crucifixion teams knew their business they had enough practice. He could not possibly have rolled the heavy boulder from the door of the tomb after the crucifixion experience.

And even if we discounted these impossibilities, what happened to him later? If we agree that he died and was interred, then the explanation that the body was stolen is no more helpful. For who would have taken it? Surely not the Romans or the Jewish parties, for they wished at all costs to squelch the Christian sect. And certainly not the Christians, for to do so and then fabricate detailed accounts of Jesus' resurrection would have been to fly in the face of the ethic their master preached and for which they ultimately died.

Note that when the disciples of Jesus proclaimed the resurrection, they did so as eyewitnesses and they did so while people were still alive who had had contact with the events they spoke of. It passes the bounds of credibility that the early Christians could have manufactured such a tale and then preached it among those who might easily have refuted it simply by producing the body of Jesus.

Let's go back and revisit the three basic approaches to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We said that some believe that the resurrection never happened. What if it didn't? Paul is not trying to con people into faith. He bluntly states that you and I are most to be pitied if this did not happen. He writes in 1 Corinthians Then those also who have died in Christ have perished.


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If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. It's important to realize that the issue at Corinth wasn't that the Corinthians didn't believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They did, even though they were divided into factions, following the various teachers and preachers who had come through Corinth.

Whether it be Paul or Cephas or Apollos or some elitist who had claimed to simply follow Jesus, all these teachers held to the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Where there was disagreement was whether or not the rest of us would also rise from the dead. Paul is saying that, if the resurrection of Jesus never happened, we are wasting our time.

If He is not risen from the dead, when you die, you also will not rise from the dead. There's no promise of life beyond this life, if Jesus is not risen. Make all your decisions on the basis of this life. Don't mess around with false hope. If Jesus Christ is raised from the dead, you have the hope of the resurrection.

He claimed to be the resurrection and the life. He was the first fruits of all who died. Whoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal life. We say that some talk about the resurrection principle, spiritualizing it. The second thing Jesus told his disciples is that they should tell the whole world about his crucifixion and resurrection, and invite them to follow him, too Matthew We must not collude. We must be witnesses of his resurrection. Our witness must be prophetic: Our witness should be humbly confident: The resurrection reminds us that world history will end on a joyful note.

I will establish a world-wide kingdom in which justice will roll down like the waters, in which my authority will be recognized, and in which people from all nations, ethnic groups, and social classes will live together in peace, love, and unity. And immediately following this phrase, a pressing question arises from Sam Gamgee as he speaks to Gandalf: Follow him on Twitter BruceAshford. Faith Jesus and Easter: Why the resurrection is the most important truth in the world. Facebook 0 Twitter 0 livefyre Email Print. It cannot be hidden within the four walls of our churches; we must make it known to the world.

The resurrection reveals Jesus as the final authority in this world. This reality is important because all of us need to know who is finally in charge of this world. A great many people think the final authority is the free market.

THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History
THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History
THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History
THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History
THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History
THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History
THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History
THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History
THE RESURRECTION REPORT: Why the Easter Story Is the Greatest News Event in History

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