I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
We are blue for Ben!

Apr 21, 2014

5 FACTS FOR JESUS RESURRECTION





Confidence does not come naturally. For most of us confidence comes through experience. I remember when I got my drivers license. I avoiding the freeways because I would get nervous passing tractor trailer semis. Today, I have no problem driving on the freeway. I am definitely more confident today than when I first got my license. The same could be said for a new believer in the faith. It is hard to wrap our minds around the thought that Jesus resurrected from the dead. I cannot explain other than the fact that Jesus was God. Beside my faith in Christ, there is evidence provided for the resurrection. Here are some key evidences for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The fact that Jesus was crucified is a historical fact.

The evidence of this historical event is found in various historical sources.  Christian and non-Christian. In addition to the four Gospels and a number of letters contained in the New Testament, all of which were written in the first century, Jesus' execution is even reported by a number of ancient non-Christian sources. Josephus (late first century), Tacitus (early second century), Lucian (early to mid-second century), and Mara bar Serapion (second to third centuries) all report the event.
           
The disciples believed that He rose and appeared to them.

We read personal testimonies in the New Testament. Luke 24:36 “While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Perhaps the greatest evidence for the disciple's faith is in their willingness to die for their beliefs. Fact is, liars make poor martyrs and there is no record that any of the apostles ever recanted their stories. If just one had done so, it would have put the nail in the coffin of Christianity.
           
The church persecutor Paul was suddenly changed. 

Before Paul changed, he was persecuting followers of Jesus.  After his conversion, Paul gained nothing but suffering and death for his efforts. So what could possibly cause such a transformation in Paul? He says it was seeing the resurrected Christ. Three times in the book of Acts, Paul recalls his encounter with the resurrected Jesus. Surely, such an event could explain such a dramatic transformation.


The skeptic James, half brother of Jesus, was suddenly changed.

The Gospel of John 7:3-5 records an incident between Jesus and his brothers, they actually mock Him. This same James not only came to believe, but he even became a prominent church leader in Jerusalem (Acts 15:12-21, Galatians 1:9).

The tomb was empty.

There are three very good reasons to accept the fact of the empty tomb. The primary evidence is that there was not a body presented after the claim.  No one would have suggested that the disciples stole the body if the body was still in the tomb. The tomb must have been empty. The first eye witness to the empty tomb came from women. This is important. In both the Jewish and Roman cultures, the testimony of women did not carry any weight.

To persuade someone that a man raised from the dead is a radical claim. It only happened once in all recorded history! I believed the resurrection, when I read the gospel account for myself (John 21: 1-2). It was difficult to fully accept, but I am confident in the eyewitness testimony. This study has increased my faith in the resurrection that I already hold as truth. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece to my hope.

"I went to a psychologist friend and said if 500 people claimed to see Jesus after he died, it was just a hallucination. He said hallucinations are an individual event. If 500 people have the same hallucination, that's a bigger miracle than the resurrection."
~ Lee Strobel
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QUESTIONS:
What is preventing you from believing the evidence provided?

What evidence is there for your unbelief?
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PRAYER:
God, by your power you came down and defeated death. Forgive me for my lack of faith in what You have done. You are the God of the universe! You spoke and the worlds were formed. Thank You for Your truth and the transforming power of your Spirit. Continue to grow our faith, in Jesus name AMEN. 

~ We invite you to join us as we study the book of Romans. Next publish date, 
Friday 4/27/2014.