We human beings are such curious beings. Consider for example how we often deal with subjects we’d rather, for whatever reason, avoid, delay or simply ignore. It’s called rationalization.
As we saw in Wednesday’s post, the vast majority of historians of the ancient world agree Jesus Christ was crucified, that his grave was found empty three days later and his disciples maintained to their deaths that they had seen and talked with the resurrected Jesus.
If those three facts are true, it means all of us then must decide what we’ll do with the claim of Jesus to be God and the only way any of us can be accepted into Heaven. The following video from reasaonblefaith.org addresses the four most common rationalizations for avoiding those three facts and the implications for each of us:
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but through me.” (John 14:6) Think about that – He said He alone holds your ultimate destiny and mine in His hands. As C.S. Lewis famously observed:
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.”
But how do you know which is right, that Jesus was exactly who and what He claimed to be or He was a nutcase, a liar and a deceiver? The following video, the first of a two-part series produced by reasonablefaith.org, examines the three most basic facts that point us in the right direction:
If you attended college at any time in the past several decades, odds are you were taught some variation of the claim the Jesus of the Bible cannot be documented in history, so the book is really nothing more than a collection of myths, fables and exaggerations written long after His death.
Among the most significant evidence from logic to support the credibility of the Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — is the fact none of the original disciples ever disavowed their claims about Jesus’ life and miracles, including the Resurrection.
The absence of any such disavowal, either documented or merely rumored, is not prima facie proof, but it does provide a weighty addition to the case for the truth of the Bible.
Biola University Professor Sean McDowell looks in the following video at the biblical and secular evidence on the question, lays out the main points of debate and offers conclusions about the significance:
Critics and skeptics over the centuries have come up with a multitude of theories attempting to discount the claim that Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days after His death on the cross.
These theories fall into four primary categories:
Some sort of conspiracy.
He only appeared to have died.
Somebody moved His body without telling the disciples.
There were hallucinations.
In Part 2 of the Reasonable Faith video looking at the facts about the claim Jesus rose from the dead, each of these theories is addressed head-on and shown to be a less satisfactory explanation for the undisputed truth about the death of Jesus:
If you missed it, Part 1 was posted yesterday here on HillFaith. If you have questions about anything you heard in either video, please tell us about it in the comments.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’
“That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.
“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Christianity is either established or destroyed by whether or not a single historical event actually happened, as claimed in the four Gospels concerning the resurrection of Jesus.
If Jesus was indeed resurrected three days after being crucified dead and buried, then was seen and heard by a multitude of witnesses in the 40 days thereafter, as claimed by the Gospel authors, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, then every human being who ever has or ever will live must decide whether to accept or reject His claim to be God Incarnate and the only way to Heaven.
If Jesus was not physically resurrected as claimed by the Gospels, then, as Paul writes in I Corinthians 15:17-19, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile … and we are of all people most to be pitied.”