Occasionally — usually in the wee small hours of the night — the thought comes to me that I’m believing a gigantic fairy tale. Perhaps God really is just a myth, and nothing exists beyond the grave.
When such thoughts come, I immediately remind myself of the overwhelming evidence of Christ’s resurrection. For instance, His tomb had been sealed so securely that the women who came to anoint His body wondered who would roll away the stone? Didn’t they realize those burly Roman soldiers guarding the tomb would be the only people with the authority to do so? Or is it possible that the stone was even too heavy for them?
And those soldiers definitely wouldn’t have permitted anyone (least of all the disciples) to steal the body. Pilate appointed them to guard the tomb for precisely that reason! Sure, they probably thought it was a ridiculous assignment, but they also knew that any dereliction of duty would cost them their lives. In fact, the Pharisees had to offer them protection in exchange for letting them spread the story that the disciples took the body.
Speaking of Christ’s disciples, why would such a cowardly collection of men risk their lives to perpetrate a story that they knew to be a fraud? Ten died horrendous deaths as martyrs, and John suffered as an exile in a prison camp on Patmos. All any of them had to do would have been to say they made the resurrection up. Seems to me that, given their abandonment of Jesus at His arrest, they simply lacked the fortitude to then allow a falsehood to dominate their lives and send ten of them to death.
Finally, Paul made this claim:
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. ~~1 Corinthians 15:3-6 (ESV)
Did you catch verse 6? Most of those 500 men who saw the risen Lord were still alive when Paul wrote the letter to the Corinthians. That means, dear sisters, that the Corinthians could have interviewed enough of them to legally establish the truth or falsity of Paul’s claim. No court of law, in any judicial system, could reject the testimony of almost 500 eyewitnesses!
Since Christ’s resurrection is therefore an established fact, I believe it follows that His claim to be both God and Man must also be true. Likewise, He must also have sent the Holy Spirit to superintend the writing of Scripture. As I see it, the resurrection validates everything else about Christianity.
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