Thursday, 5 April 2012

Evidence of The Resurrection

Graveyard: Norfolk Island

What proof is needed to convince someone that God exists and that Jesus is the Son of God.
It is a question Christians and non-Christians alike have wrestled with down the ages.  For the Apostle Paul, the answer was firmly tied into the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.  Paul believed that if Jesus did rise from the dead as He claimed, then he had to be God.  Who else but God commands that sort of authority, to raise a person from the dead.  If the resurrection was true, then everything else that Jesus claimed had to be true. 

Paul become satisfied beyond a doubt about the truth and reliability of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  It changed his life dramatically.  So what evidence would it take to convince some one like Paul?  We read about it in 1 Corinthians 15: 3 – 8.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Jesus appeared to the Disciples.  They were all convinced that it was Jesus who had returned from the dead.  It changed their lives, and most of them believed in it so strongly they were willing to give up their lives so others would also know the truth.

The 500 brothers.  These witnesses were well known.  They probably were not reluctant in telling people who were interested what they had seen.  The resurrection was well announced and testified to.  Yet no one seems to be able to have produced  Jesus’ body, or come up with a credible alternative suggestion as to what happened.  Any of these things would have stopped Christianity dead in it’s tracks.  The 500 where convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead.

James the brother of Jesus.  Up to this point all the witnesses Paul lists had been believers and followers of Jesus before his death.  James was not.  James met the resurrected Jesus, and again that event changed his life.  From scorn and doubt James become the leader of the Church in Jerusalem.  James was convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead.

Finally we have Paul himself.  Paul encountered Jesus on his way to Damascus to round up the Christians there and bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment.  Paul met Jesus on that road, and it changed his life.  From persecuting the Christians he became their chief spokesperson.  He gave his life to tell others of what He knew to be true.   Paul was convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead.
Have you made up your mind yet on where you stand?

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