One of the most common objections I’ve come across when dealing with people’s thought on the resurrection is that the disciples stole Jesus’ body from the tomb and moved it somewhere else. It makes sense right? No body, Jesus must have risen. Sounds like a total miracle, great story to start a new religion on.
False. There are many holes in this theory. Where to start?
1- The disciples all believed that Jesus had in fact died forever. They didn’t think that He was going to physically rise from the dead. If we’re going to get real here, they were scared out of their pants. They thought they had spent all this time following a fraud and since he got crucified it was likely that their lives were in jeopardy too.
Why go around telling people that Jesus rose from the dead when they should be keeping a low profile? Telling people that Jesus’ body was no longer in the tomb and that he rose from the dead was definitely not the way to do that.
2. Let’s check out the Romans. Most of us have learned about Roman soldiers/guards at some point in elementary school or middle school. If you didn’t, Netflix has tons of movies you can check out. Gladiator anyone? Point being, the character and discipline of the Romans was top notch. It would be extremely difficult to sneak past the guards. These men didn’t just nap on the job. Not to mention the fact that a huge rock wouldn’t have been easy to move with the guards not noticing.
But lets go out on a limb here and say that somehow the disciples were able to do just that. They sneaked past these extremely well-trained Roman guards, then they move this heavy rock (again unnoticed), grab the body, sneak past the guards again this time carrying the dead body of a grown man…. then what?
Then these women go back and pretend like they discovered the tomb empty and make these outrageous claims that Jesus somehow rose from the dead and was walking around again…. then what?
Oh then the Roman guards sit back and do nothing to prove the disciples wrong of course.
Wait. That does not sound right at all. Why would the Romans let the disciples make these claims and not search for the body? It isn’t like people rising from the dead happened all the time. It wasn’t just something they would brush off. The humiliation alone would have been enough for them to do everything they could to prove the disciples wrong.
Does it seem logical to believe that the disciples were able to do all of this and the Romans would do nothing to get to the bottom of it?
3-If the Romans couldn’t be bothered with taking the time to find the body, the Jews certainly would have had a great stake in blowing the roof off this resurrection claim.
Take some time to think about why the Jewish leaders would have wanted to prove the disciples wrong. Message me what you come up with. I have an essay for Ethics to go finish but I’ll post more about this tomorrow.
Sooooo….over a week ago I was supposed to start writing a blog series on the Evidence for the Resurrection. In typical end-of-the-semester fashion, my intentions got put on the shelf. I promise I’ll start the series up this weekend once I’m done writing up my final essays for the semester.
Over the next few days (if I don’t get distracted by life) I’ll be going over a few of the common things people say about the Resurrection. I’ll also be filling ya’ll in on the evidence that supports the fact that Jesus did in fact get sentenced to death by people in his community, died a brutal death, and rose again as the prophets predicated.
As always, I invited anyone who has questions to please message me so I can try to answer them to the best of my ability.
Now, why does it really matter if Jesus did or didn’t die and resurrect? Well as a Christian you better believe fully that Jesus did just that. If he didn’t do that, if he just died on a cross and that was it, then Christianity is false. All of Christianity relies on that fact that Jesus did in fact rise from the dead. If he didn’t then we shouldn’t follow Christ. We should find another religion to believe, or believe in nothing at all.
For those of you who know me, you know my story, my testimony. For those of you who don’t it may be hard to understand why I’m so fascinated with the Resurrection.
Let me sum up my journey really fast: I grew up in a Catholic family…got confirmed..stopped going to church because I didn’t actually believe in God… thought Christians were ignorant people..met someone who made me actually want to read the Bible…Found God…bad things happened in my life…got angry at God, stopped believing in the God of the Bible..hit rock bottom, found God waiting for me there…believed in a God, still not convinced the Bible was right or that Jesus was real…Thought we could believe in a form of a god and be good to go..heard that Christians didn’t think that was true at all…thought Christians were haters for trying to say their God was the only One.. discovered apologetics, used to it try to prove Christians wrong…learned about the Resurrection… was overwhelmed with the evidence…gave my life to Christ fully.
My journey was definitely a crazy wild one and maybe someday I’ll write about it. But for right now, the point of me telling that story (in an awfully written, run-on sentence) is to show others that searching for the evidence is alright. God doesn’t get mad if you have questions or if you want proof. He has all the evidence you need and will show you it if you just look.
Anyone involved in Christian Apologetics has usually heard this reaction when telling someone that they are learning about Apologetics.
So if Apologetics isn’t about apologizing for being a Christian, what is it?
Textbook definition: “:Reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.”
Real life application definition: Being able to use reason, logic, and evidence for your faith in Christ.
Biblical example: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..” 1 Peter 3:15
One of the things that amazes me about God is that He has given us so much evidence to use when explaining why we believe what we believe. He knew people would ask us why we are Christians, why we believe in the Bible, why we believe we are saved through Christ’s death & resurrection…and He put everything right there in His Word and through other sources to show that He is real! Peter wrote to the Church telling us that we need to be prepared to explain to others why we are followers of Christ. He also commanded us to do so kindly with respect for others.
"Do we really need Apologetics? Isn’t just believing enough?"
Here’s the thing, just believing something without any real reason to believe it is blind faith. The Bible does not ask us to believe anything blindly. Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus doing things to show people that he was the Messiah. He didn’t just tell people he was the Messiah and expect them to just believe it without any real reason to.
Think about it, if someone asks you why you believe Jesus is God and died for your salvation, and your reply is “Because the Bible says so”, it will likely not sway that person to believe also. Anyone can write in a book that they are God right? What makes the Bible the Truth? The Gospel is said to be the most offensive doctrine out there. Think about it, if you don’t believe that Jesus died for your sins then you can’t get yourself in Heaven. Many people find that offensive.
Look at John 14:6- Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Many people think that isn’t fair and therefore need to see some sort of proof that Jesus really is the only way to God. In all of his infinite wisdom God has provided us with plenty of proof to backup our beliefs, we just need to equip ourselves!
“If I find myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” - C.S. Lewis”—
At the Reason Rally I had to opportunity to talk to quite a few people. I spoke with an Atheist who said something similar to this. One of the most compelling possible reasons for the existence of A god that she had come across was something similar to this quote by C.S. Lewis. She said that the fact the humans throughout time have always felt the need to “create” a god/gods/goddesses seems to lead one to conclude that maybe there is in fact a god.
Through evolution one would not need to desire a god or an after life. If evolution occurred with no higher power, the desire for a life after this or a relationship with a god would not be needed. We would be perfectly content with living only for this life and merely want to advance our species. We would not long for a god. We would have no need to create one. Creating one would not necessarily help us advance our species. Having a god does not assist us in survival of the fittest. To her, that seemed to be the one thing she had come across in life that made her think and re-think and re-think again the idea of their not being a god of any kind.
Why do we have a desire for things that we can not have satisfied in this world if there isn’t a God?
As a Christian in the 21st century, I think we often overlook this commandment. We figure we believe in God, we know Jesus died for our sins, and we’re not walking around worshiping carved out statues of pagan gods so we’re good right?
Not so much.
While we may not be worshiping gods of other religions, idolatry is still very much a part of our daily lives. I think living in our society makes it really difficult to identify these other “gods” that we put before the Lord. How many of us chase after careers where we’ll make tons of money? Or feel like we absolutely need to have the latest version of whatever hot piece of technology is out this week? Have our Sunday church services become a highlight event of the week because we can’t wait to hear what the pastor has to say…while we ignore the Word of God that sits next to our bed all week?
Idolatry has manifested itself in so many different ways that we often overlook the effect it is having in our lives. Many people struggle with drugs or drinking. That has become their idol. When things get hard instead of turning to the Lord they turn to a bottle to temporarily give them relief. As a woman I know firsthand how easily we can make a relationship into an idol. People chase after a relationship or a future spouse to fill a void that only the Lord can.
Then there’s American Idol. We have a show where we actually create idols. Whitney Houston recently passed away and people were hysterical crying on the news. They weren’t friends of Ms. Houston. In fact, the majority of them had never even met her. Yet they wore shirts with her face on them, bawled their eyes out as if they had just lost their mom, and crowded the town of Newark just to get a glance at her casket. Celebrities are idols. Singers, movie stars, even Tim Tebow, can become idols when people take their interest too far.
Men and women across the country struggle daily with lust. The human body has become something many worship. In some ways people idolize bodies by spending hours at the gym while others get caught up in the black hole of internet porn sites. We end up putting desire for the perfect body or desire to be with a certain person’s body, before our love for the Lord. We let passion, desire, and lust take hold of our lives. Sure, the Jews in the Old Testament struggled with lust to, but they were not exposed to sex nearly as much as we are. Our culture puts sex on a pedestal and worships all things related to it.
When God gave Moses this commandment, he knew that every generation there after would struggle with some form of idol, even if it wasn’t a god carved out of wood. He knew that we as fallen humans could turn anything into an idol. All an idol is, is a replacement for God in our lives. When we take our eyes off of God we leave ourselves open to turning silly things into our idols.
A wise pastor once said, “How do you know if you have an idol? Think with me about the following statements, you fill in the blanks. “Lord I’ll give you anything but.” What would you exclude from God? How about this statement? “Lord I’ll do anything for you but.” Is there something that you simply would not do for the Lord? How about this? “Lord I’ll change anything in my life for you but.” Are there habits you will not give up? Are there places you will not forgo? Are there relationships which you should not have, which you will not forfeit?