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Apologetics Resurrection

Sunrise

When they were pounding on the door of the upper room that Sunday morning with their incredulous news, do you think the women had any idea the import of what they had just witnessed? On that morning a new era of history was born, and our Western calendar would eventually be broken into two periods: before Him and after Him.

Even if the Resurrection of Jesus didn’t really happen, it’s still the most important event in history. The belief that a Jewish rabbi rose from the dead has changed the world more than anything else before or since.

But what does it mean for you and me today?

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Apologetics Resurrection

Saturday

Abandoned.

Abandoned by your Master. Abandoned by your God.

Even in the face of betrayal by Yahweh himself, Jesus still finds a way to entrust the care of his soul to him. Still calls him Father. Still believes.

And then he’s gone. His body utterly broken and humiliated. Murdered. Executed.

Dead.

They did it. They won. The bad guys won. How can this be? You can’t make any sense of it. He was supposed to save us. Jesus somehow was able to keep trusting in the Father even unto death, but you can’t. You’re confused. You don’t know which way is up. A rage inside you begins to boil up and you’re just about to start bitterly cursing God when a realization dawns on you, and grips you with fear.

You could be next.

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Apologetics Resurrection

Friday

Imagine this scene:

You’re one of Jesus twelve disciples. You rode into Jerusalem earlier in the week for Passover, and you’ve been expecting big things. After years of playing around at the fringes, this was the week when he was finally going to do something dramatic, and show the world that he really was the long-awaited Messiah. You didn’t know what he was going to do, but you knew it was going to be BIG.

But now it’s Friday, and instead of glorying in victory you’re standing on a rocky crag just outside the city walls. The stench from gehenna, the city’s burning trash dump, fills your nose. Old patches and fresh pools of blood lie everywhere on the ground. All around you are the sounds of grief and agony—some wailing softly, some crying out and yelling.

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Apologetics Resurrection

Don’t Myth-Understand It

I hope you’ll find time to visit my site on Friday, Saturday, and Easter Sunday. I’ve written some pieces that will help take you through each day of that weekend from a special perspective. It may be a powerful new way of thinking about Easter weekend for you.

But back to the topic at hand. There are a lot of theories out there attempting to explain away the Resurrection of Jesus. I’ve discussed many of them in this series, and there are a few others out there as well. All of them have pretty much been vaporized due to lack of any credible support. And so the modern skeptic of the Resurrection today usually stakes her claim on a fairly new default theory.

It’s all a myth. A legend. A fairytale.

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Apologetics Resurrection

Apostle bin Laden

Can you imagine Osama bin Laden becoming a Christian? Being baptized, publicly becoming a follower of Jesus and then directing the same enormous amounts of energy towards spreading the Gospel as he once had towards killing Americans and Christians?

Me neither, but that is almost exactly what happened to a man named Saul of Tarsus.

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Apologetics Resurrection

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Here’s something you may or may never have thought of before (unless you’ve read any of the great books on Christian apologetics out there). The fact that the traditional day of Christian worship is Sunday is another piece of evidence that the Resurrection really happened.

Huh?

Yes, it’s true. Consider this: most of the early disciples of Jesus were Jews, and the Jewish day of worship has always been on Saturday. In the time of Jesus it had already been that way for thousands of years. Setting aside a specific day of worship was so important that it was one of the Ten Commandments.

And yet within one generation this new group of Jesus-followers had changed their day of worship to Sunday, to commemorate the day Jesus came back to life.

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Apologetics Resurrection

Ch-ch-ch-Changes

One of them was brash and overeager. Two of them wanted the power to kill their enemies. None of them were brave men—when the moment of crisis came, every single one of them fled out of fear for his own safety, forsaking their master to suffer his fate alone.

Yet literally overnight these men changed into powerhouses of faith, love, and boldness. One of the most powerful evidences for the Resurrection is the sudden and dramatic change in the lives of Jesus’ disciples.

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Apologetics Resurrection

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 to 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: