You can observe the atheists working overtime to dismiss the resurrection. It proves Christianity. Here’s why:
- The disciples had great fear (as manifested by primary sources) before it and were emboldened by it to give their lives.
- The disciples, being uneducated, would have been incapable of inventing it.
- The primary sources agree that none of the disciples thought of resurrection before Jesus’ death. They clearly expected Jesus to establish an earthly kingdom. Peter used sword to defend Jesus from his crucifiers, then denied Christ three times to protect himself. This supports the idea that the resurrection surprised and transformed them.
- It is true that religious groups have given their lives for delusions before, but an important difference must be made between those who have been duped, and those who are imposing the hoax. The atheists allege the disciples committed fraud by making it up. The trouble with this is is that it is highly unlikely they would then give their lives to martyrdom — separate from each other, with no one around to egg them on. If you create a delusion, it usually is to achieve some self-serving end, not to die for it. If you know that the resurrection is fake, it is highly unlikely that you will die for it. Maybe one would dare to give his life for a fraud, but eleven?
- It is true that religious leaders have possessed genius to invent fantastical accounts inventing religion, but these have been individuals — Mohammed, Joseph Smith. With Christianity, it is a group of 11 disciples. How could they agree unless they had actually seen Jesus resurrected?
- How did Christianity progress under persecution? The Romans were killing Christians. You don’t just convert to your death sentence — unless you know that the resurrection trumps any death sentence. Islam, by contrast, was an easy ticket to join because it was a booming success militarily and politically. The early believers joined Christianity not because they were signing with the winning team.
- It is nearly impossible to allege that the 11 disciples fell under some sort of collective psychosis. The evidence shows the contrary: Thomas was missing from the initial meeting with the resurrected Christ and was determinedly decided against believing in His resurrection.
- If the disciples got together and concocted the account, they surely would not have made women, in their patriarchal times, the first witnesses.
- Even a non-Christian historical source, Josephus, tells of Paul’s switch from persecutor to promoter. How can you possibly account for this unless he really did see Jesus?
Resurrection Day is a great holiday for Christianity. Though I’m not a professional apologist, I believe the raw, unadulterated evidence is highly in favor of the resurrection being true. My blog has hosted some pretty lively discussion in the past and welcomes all comers to join the debate, though I ask everyone refrain from curse words and treat each other respectfully. I believe in comparing ideas, not ad hominem attacks.
Incontrovertible evidence. Great post :).
Yes, I think so. I can’t wait to see what my atheist friends say. They tend to bristle.
Amen, humbled, undeserving, made righteous in His sight,
Without it we have no hope! What makes Jesus unique to all others is that He is alive! I never knew that until that day 21 years ago when I surrendered my life to Him and Was born again. On that day I knew He was alive He conquered the grave and so I understood that all my sin was already paid for almost 2000 years ago. I can’t not add to that just rest in that. Now my hope is in His return hope that is assured no doubt. Maranatha!
I love this post of yours
we sing an old Hymn from time to time in church – He Lives
There is a line in there that says, “You ask me how I know he lives – He lives within my heart.”
I like the old hymns. I want to sing “It is well with my soul,” but they don’t sing it in my church.
Great post… love the practical insight 😉
The three Gospels by disciples who knew Yahshua personally and attested to His life are, in fact, legal documents permissible in a court of law. In the OT Law only two witnesses in agreement were needed to establish proof.
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Reblogging this one. Goes perfectly with my study in Matthew. Your arguments are terrific. When I’m explaining the gospel to someone, I always point out the Jesus’ death on the cross was not unusual in that day–thousands of people were crucified by Rome. What makes His death so important is His resurrection. Unique, miraculous, and completing our hope of eternity in heaven.
Reblogged this on Study God's Word and commented:
From my friend over at The Mustard Seed Budget. Loved this post.
I like this very much. EXCELLENT points and very true.
I mix rather a lot with scientific groups and I find the disbelief there quite strong. Some are so biased against anything outside the physical universe, they refuse to even consider the evidence or even theory.
They will learn. I just keep reminding myself that they will learn. To some, it will come as a tremendous shock, I’m sure, and I think to myself – well, sometimes that’s what’s needed.
Cheers – and Blessings. 🙂
Wow, when you show up, you show up in force!
My whole notifications is a red planet.
It goes on for a light year.
Well, it’s been a few days… or weeks. 🙂