Sunday, February 21, 2010

You (Don’t) Look Like You’ve Seen A Ghost!

In the past, some critics of the Resurrection have sought to explain it away by saying that his followers merely hallucinated seeing a risen Jesus. Like most theories, this one too falls apart in shreds upon the slightest scrutiny.

The apostles made it very clear that when they said Jesus was risen, they meant bodily. They weren’t talking about seeing a ghost or the spirit of Jesus; they were adamant that the physical body of their Teacher was up and about. Now it’s true that this body apparently now had some supernatural abilities—such as the ability to appear in a room unannounced, and the ability to mask its identity until He desired to be recognized—but the apostles (and Jesus himself) took great pains to emphasize the fact that it was his actual body that was risen:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hey It's Dark In Here!

Ever heard of the swoon theory? It’s a good one. Well, not really—it’s more useful for comedic value than anything else, cuz the mental images it brings up are pretty hilarious.

Picture the scene: late in the day as Jesus is being crucified, Pilate orders his men to speed up the death of everyone on the crucifixion-docket that day. It’s the holiest weekend of the Jewish year coming up, and having a lot of Jews hanging on crosses outside their holiest city? That would be bad.

So the Romans begin breaking the legs of everyone left alive. When they get to Jesus, they notice he’s already dead. They stick a spear into his heart just to make sure. He gets taken off the cross, wrapped in burial cloths and spices and placed in the tomb.

Sunday morning rolls around seeing the disciples cowering together in a room in Jerusalem. Dejected and bewildered, they suddenly hear a feeble, rasping knock at the door. Somebody opens the door, and one of the most pathetic figures you’ve ever seen stumbles into the room and collapses at your feet. It’s Jesus! He’s not dead!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Dog Ate My Jesus

It’s the famous old excuse:

“Jimmy, where is your homework?”

“I’m sorry teacher, but the dog ate my homework.”

We’ve all heard it, but have you ever actually known someone to use that excuse? Have you ever used it yourself? Probably not.

Because it’s ridiculous!

In my last post, I stated that there was no alternative to an empty tomb on the first Easter Sunday morning. Well, that was sort of untrue. Sorry.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Test Photo

Bring Out Yer Dead!

In our first Resurrection post I ended by quoting Paul from 1 Corinthians 15. If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. Well luckily for that little 4th grade boy 25 years ago who wanted to be the best Peter he could be, this is not the case!

I passed on to you what was most important…Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.

Note that Paul says the Resurrection is the ‘most important’ of all things. Indeed it’s true, for two reasons. First, if Christ was not raised, then our faith in Him is tragically and comically misplaced. But second, since Christ was raised, we can know with assurance that He was all He said He was. In the verses above Paul lists several facts about the Resurrection, and I’ll be addressing each of them throughout my posts. But let’s begin with the first item in his list: Jesus was buried, and was raised from the dead.