In case you hadn’t noticed, this year’s celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ falls on April 1st, or as it also known, April Fool’s Day. I’m fully aware that there are many who would consider the story of a dead yet now alive Savior as simple mythology or fairy-tale and the faith that millions have placed in such a belief as the biggest practical joke of all time. However, I wonder if those skeptics have really examined all the evidence.
In his best-selling book, The Case for Christ, author and former atheist Lee Strobel sought to debunk the major claims of the Christian faith. Strobel sat down with several of Christianity’s leading theologians and grilled them on how they actually came to believe, what was in his opinion, utter nonsense. The final result of his interviews was that Strobel came to realize that these men and women had great justification for their faith, so much so that he too placed his faith in Jesus.
While I would highly recommend that you take time to read The Case of Chris for yourself, I thought I would quickly share and summarize just two or three of many, many evidences given by those interviewed as to why they firmly believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- Jesus’ disciples were willing to die for their belief that He has risen. As I once heard it said, “Liars make terrible martyrs.” It would be one thing for me to give my life for something I deeply believed in, but the disciples would willingly be tortured and put to death for something they claimed to have personally seen. If the resurrection was just some made up story, do you think Jesus’ first followers would have shown that kind of commitment to what they knew was a lie?
- Women were the first to see and testify about the resurrection. This may not seem like a big deal today, but 2,000 years ago, if you were going to make up a story that you wanted others to accept, you would NEVER have women as the primary eye-witnesses. In that day and time, women were not allowed to provide testimony in a court and their word was not viewed as reliable. Thankfully, things are different today, but the fact that women were the first to see the risen Savior and that their account was used in Scripture, lends a huge amount of credibility to the record.
- Skeptics like Paul and James (Jesus’ half-brother) were converted. From a worldly perspective, people like Paul and James had nothing to gain and everything to loose by becoming followers of Jesus. Of course, the reality was that they had everything to gain, but most didn’t see it that way. Again, with access to the first-hand information available, why would someone dedicate his or her whole life to what they knew wasn’t true? The only answer is that those one-time skeptics were convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus was alive.
I could go on to list many more defenses of the resurrection, just as Strobel’s book does, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter. Why? Because the issue of being a follower of Jesus, believing in His death, burial, and resurrection, is something that will always come down to faith. You must choose to believe. You have the freedom to choose to believe that it’s all made up; just something that people tell each other to help them sleep better at night. Or, you can choose, BY FAITH, to believe that Jesus truly was and is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for your sins, and that He rose from the tomb on the third day.
Don’t get fooled – JESUS IS ALIVE!!
For we live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7, NIV)