Monday, April 21, 2014

The Case for the Resurrection - Pt.1

Since the Resurrection is the fundamental truth of Christianity (1 Cor. 15:14), it has consistently been the attack of critics to disprove its validity. History is what has happened. A legitimate form of historical study will not reinterpret nor rewrite that which has happened. Legitimate historical study seeks to gather, analyze, arrange and interpret the facts from the past. Over the next couple of days, let us consider facts and issues in line with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Over the time, there has been a number of theories opposing the Resurrection of Jesus. The first was that the disciples stole the body of Jesus. It started in New Testament times when the Priests bribed the guards to spread this rumor (Matthew 28:13). Two things stand out about this, as an early church father, Origen stated, men do not risk their lives for a lie. Also, there would not be a need to bribe someone to tell the story - if it were true.

Another is called the "Swoon Theory." It came about in 1828 by a German named Paulas. He said that due to the short time that Jesus was on the cross, all He did was swoon. The cool tomb revived Him, an earthquake rolled the stone away, Jesus stripped off the graveclothes and left them in the tomb and dressed Himself in some of the gardener's clothes - thus Mary mistook Him. This is refuted by the descriptions of the beatings He went through, the nails to the cross, the copious amount of blood loss - He would not have much strength even if this were considered feasible. And walking on feet that had been penetrated and torn by the course Roman nails?

Then, there is the plot by Hugh Schonfield called the Passover Plot. He says that Jesus studied the Old Testament prophecies and knew that the Messiah had to suffer. He knew that on the Passover period, they would not leave Him on the cross. His statement "I thirst" was a code for someone to slip Him a knockout drug.  There were many tombs in the Garden, and when they arrived on Sunday morning (by prearrangement) they went to the wrong tomb, found it empty and the gardener pointed to the correct tomb and said "Go." They misunderstood this to be "Go, tell." Makes a nice novel, but is short on the facts.

There has been many suggestions - wrong tomb, etc. to try to explain away the Resurrection of Jesus. But, none hold up to the historic facts. Tomorrow, we will consider some other theories that try to explain away the Resurrection.

Today, spend some time meditating over the basis of the Christian Religion. Is it based upon a deadman, or a man once dead now Lives? Read 1 Corinthians 15 today and reflect upon what Paul says.

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