hotrodhell

You want me to believe that Jesus was raised from the Dead? You’re kidding!

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Trinity on March 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm

  1. You want me to believe Jesus was raised from the dead
  2. He is described in the Bible
  3. I do not believe this book
  4. Therefore, I do not accept your entire argument

A first Corinthians defense of the Gospel and the resurrection

Jesus made the claim of deity and to be the “Son of Man” and the “Son of God”. If by His claim one of the evidences is the resurrection this is a very powerful argument to prove His claim. The scriptures are one of our best sources to prove this. About 95% of NT scholars agree with the facts about the resurrection and there are other facts that argue these facts are true. (Specific scholars can be named for more detailed research.) Based on Gary Habermas and his “minimal facts approach” the 4-7 best attested facts will provide the basis of our argumentation so we can keep it simple and concise. There are at least 20 or more facts available starting in 1 Corinthians 15 let’s take a look.

(1Co 15:1-26 HCSB) Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you–unless you believed to no purpose. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.

Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time, most of whom remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one abnormally born, He also appeared to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by God’s grace I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not ineffective. However, I worked more than any of them, yet not I, but God’s grace that was with me.

Therefore, whether it is I or they, so we preach and so you have believed. Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, “There is no resurrection of the dead”?But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without foundation, and so is your faith. In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ–whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Therefore those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have placed our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man.

For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; afterward, at His coming, the people of Christ. Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be abolished is death.

For many modern critics Paul is “in”, while the gospels are “out”. Interestingly enough 1st Corinthians is written much earlier that the gospels. It was probably written around AD 54-57 and within 27 years of the crucifixion. There would be plenty of eye witness’s accounts and not too difficult for those to remember correctly the actual occurrences. A modern example would be WW2, Korean and Vietnam veterans telling their experiences and relating to those of us who were not there what happened. We are more than willing to accept their eye witnesses’ accounts as factual and would be highly disrespectful and ignorant to accuse them of lying. We can agree that Paul was an eyewitness to what he thought was a post-resurrection appearance of Jesus.

“Last of all, as to one abnormally born, He also appeared to me. “ (1 Cor. 15:8)

Paul was in Corinth in approximately AD 51 and preached the gospel.

Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you–unless you believed to no purpose. (1 Cor. 15:1-2)

Paul passed on what he received, and many critics will say it was from Peter and James in Jerusalem in AD 35. Considering the time frame is less than 3 to 5 years from the resurrection this is almost unheard of in ancient history to be this close to the event in question.

For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: (1 Cor. 15:3)

Gal 1:18-20 Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to get to know Cephas, and I stayed with him 15 days. But I didn’t see any of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. Now in what I write to you, I’m not lying. God is my witness.

The disciples believed they had seen the risen Jesus at a time when they were hiding in fear for their lives, dumbfounded by the event s that had just taken place. Scared of their immanent arrest and death, once again we cite critics who will grant that they believed this as well. Remember if critics admit this, we claim lairs don’t make martyrs, and this is one of the most important facts.

that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. (1 Cor. 15:3-5)

Paul also speaks of the 500 other eye witnesses who are still for the most part alive and appeals to the reader they know some of them. This would provide a hostile witness refutation by the very people who if this was a fantasy or legend could and would dispute it.

Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time, most of whom remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. (1 Cor. 15:6)

The concept of believing they had seen a resurrected Jesus has been posited and accepted. What can move us from believing this to being a fact they really saw the risen Jesus?

These four facts are foundational moving us from belief to fact:

  1. He died by crucifixion
  2. The disciples believed that has seen the risen Christ
  3. They were transformed so that they were willing to die for their faith
  4. Saul, as a skeptic and persecutor was converted and believed he too had seen the risen Christ.

We have for consideration three more facts:

  1. We have early reports of the resurrection
  2. James, Jesus’ brother was a skeptic and converted
  3. The resurrection is central to Christian Belief. We examine most closely those beliefs closet to our hearts. So, Paul and the disciples checked it out carefully.

Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, “There is no resurrection of the dead”?But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without foundation, and so is your faith. In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ–whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Therefore those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have placed our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. (1 Cor. 15:12-19)

If we take the information presented and draw some conclusions we are left with at least 2 main reasons. 1. The information and facts provide us with arguments for the resurrection. 2. This is the best explanation of the data: other theories fail to explain away the resurrection. We are left with “they really saw the risen Christ.”

What first century data supports any theory contrary to the sightings of the risen Christ?

The only one is listed in the New Testament: the disciples stole the body and is refuted by the early eyewitnesses.

Conclusion yes I believe based on the facts and by personal experience Jesus rose from the dead, and offered me new life. I will one day resurrect if I am not first raptured. Believing in the risen Christ requires repentance and faith leading to salvation. The Christian faith is the only religion that offers people to test it. “Come and see”

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  1. Ugh spell check raptured

  2. Dan,

    Great article. Definitely written for such a time as this. But I suppose any Christian from any generation could say that.

    Every day we live, is one day closer to Christ’s return. Physical resurrection is one thing, His physical return is another. For the elect this eventuality is a given. But for the lost it is another hurdle of doubt that must be confronted.

    Satan knows His fate: He loses. In the face of this reality, the most evil part of his agenda is that he scours the earth for souls to take with him. He doesn’t have to sell anything. All he has to do is let nature take its course, and our predisposition to sin will take care of the rest.

    The sin of pride is such that men, wise in their own eyes, do the devil’s work every day without realizing it. Atheist educators who dismiss the spiritual realm as a myth are often the most valuable weapons in Satan’s arsenal. They not only follow his breadcrumbs, they do his dirty work, sowing seeds of doubt as they attempt to humiliate the faithful and woo the naive.

    The fact that atheists have no clue how they are being manipulated is actually an indication of just how unsophisticated they really are. As pawns fighting a spiritual war they cannot see, for a commander and chief, they refuse to recognize, the volunteer army of atheists and led by Satan, must be for him, particularly delicious. Free labor from the best and brightest lost souls in the world. None of whom believe that he even exists. Or, that Satan himself is at the head of the movement, leading the parade. Now that is what I call an effective recruiting program.

    Question: Does a lemming really want to go over the cliff? Of course not. He simply gets invited to a party that turns into a parade and starts following the one in front of him who is as lost as he is.

    Friends, countrymen and would-be atheists – know the truth and the truth will set you free.

    Choose wisely, the company you keep. We don’t need to worship the Devil to go to hell. Hell is our birthright, our default destination. For all intents and purposes we are the lemmings headed over the cliff. To change the outcome we have to make a conscious decision to leave the parade, and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

    This is akin to a conscious decision to take a different horse than the one you road in on. In aviation terms, it means boarding a different plane, headed to a different airport. Not just any other plane or any other airport, but the one Christ is piloting, where the destination is Heaven and God’s Word is the flight manual – a literal guide to life, liberty and the pursuit of eternal truth and everlasting peace.

    Let yours be a journey to seek, find and live in, not my truth, or your truth, but THE Truth. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door will be opened.

    All aboard!

    -Randy Jelinek

  3. My spell check went overtime should have been raptured thanks for pointing out and my hats off for rerading it.

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