Saturday, April 21, 2012

Did Jesus really rise? Evidence and conclusions...

I am not much interested in the old debate about "is the resurrection real?"  It is not that I have no doubts or fears -- who doesn't?  It is only that I believe that this fact is a fact which takes on importance only because of faith.  There are many facts that have no impact whatsoever on us.  The resurrection can never be looked upon as simply a fact.  It is either a life changing, game changing fact for all time or it is nothing at all.  What changes your perspective is not a mountain of evidence but faith.  Period.

Nevertheless, there are those who are bothered by the question and there are those who think that if they question is answered in the right way, people may be more amenable to faith.  I am not so sure.  It appears to me that faith is the work of the Spirit working through the Word.  But I will grant you there are lots of people both inside and outside the Church who are curious...

Peter Kreeft has done as good a job of any of looking at the facts (evidence) and giving us some conclusions... if you feel nagged by your curiosity or your doubts, you can read it all here...  He does have one thing right.  There is no middle ground.  Either Jesus rose and it is all true or He did not rise and none of it is true.  In this respect, an honest atheist is more consistent than a liberal Christian who spiritualizes the faces and the truth of it all.  It seems to me that liberal Christianity which eschews talk of a physical resurrection guts Christianity of the very thing that makes it worth believing:  the death that gives us life and the life that death cannot overcome.  It is like those who remake recipes from the fat and calories into something lean and mean.  I remember someone saying of such a recipe that it tastes just like the real thing without the cream and butter -- in other words, it tastes nothing at all like the real thing.

I don't much need a spiritual truth or a spiritual resurrection.  Friend William Weedon once said that advancing age had changed his perspective on sleep.  Now he sees it as practice for death.  I agree wholeheartedly.  I have been practicing for death all my life and this destiny will neither be undone or softened by spiritual life or a spiritual resurrection.  What I need is a new and glorious flesh and blood that death cannot touch.  It is either this or nothing at all.  There is no in between.  You can look at the evidence and I hope it will help you deal with it all but be careful here.  If the resurrection is true, it is the one fact that cannot be ignored or put away.  It will grab you and transform you -- changing your past, transforming your present, and reshaping your future.  I am not only convinced the resurrection is true -- it is the truest truth of all (if you get what I am saying) because nothing can ever remain the same in view of the simple truth:  Christ is Risen!


Anonymous said...

If they won't listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they believe if someone should rise from the dead.

Anonymous said...

One of the best evidences of the
risen Christ is that the apostles
were willing to die as martyrs as
they preached the crucified and
resurrected Christ. As eyewitnesses
of the risen Christ they put their
lives on the line to proclaim the
Gospel message. If they did not
believe in the resurrection of Christ
then they would not have given their
lives for Him.

Anonymous said...

“If they won't listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they believe if someone should rise from the dead.” So where does this “transforming”, “changing”, “reshaping” come from? It is not some mythical “power of the Resurrection.” It is simply the work of the Holy Spirit, as we are told in John 7: 37 “On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38 and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, "Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water.' " 39 Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” And John 14: 26 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.”

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart

Janis Williams said...

He is risen indeed!

If Christ be not risen, we are of all men most to be pitied.