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Apologetics Resurrection

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 him 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!

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Apologetics Resurrection

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.

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Apologetics Resurrection

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.

1 Cor 15:1-9

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.

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Apologetics Resurrection

Nobody Here But Us Linens

When I was about 8 or 9 years old, the Sunday School classes at my church decided that for Easter we were going to make a little mini-movie about the resurrection. We had the whole thing set up on a large lawn outside the classrooms. Our classroom was to be the ‘upper room’ where the disciples were cowering after Jesus’ execution, and across the lawn, placed against the bushes bordering the edge, we had set up a big foam rock acting as the stone sealing his tomb, complete with Roman soldiers standing guard.

I was cast as Peter, a Major Award for a young kid to be sure! I got to be THE disciple, the leader of them all, the guy who Jesus said would be the Rock of his church! Imagine my excitement and pride at being tapped for such an important role!

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Apologetics Resurrection

Resurrected!

In any discussion involving challenges to faith in Jesus there will be a myriad of subjects to consider.

“How can you trust a book of dead men’s fairy-tales?”

“You know evolution like, totally proves God is fake, right?”

“So you believe in talking snakes and an angry sky-god who kills his own kid—I believe in magic crystals and quantum vibrating with the universe. Bully for both of us!”

These kinds of questions may be valid concerns, or they may be smokescreens put up to avoid honest intellectual inquiry. There is one topic, however, when discussing the Christian faith that towers above all others as the most compelling to me, a topic that “bestrides the rest like a Colossus.” It is always my starting point, for it is the true foundation of all faith in Jesus. And for me personally, it is the one thing that keeps me coming back to Jesus. It’s what I hang my faith on, it’s what I cling to throughout the many storms of doubt and discouragement that naturally come my way. It’s the reason I call myself the skeptical Believer and not just ‘The Skeptic’.

It is the Resurrection of Jesus.