Thursday, May 3, 2018

Timeless Truths. Hoax or Hope? Got Questions Series -1

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
1 Corinthians 17

The word hoax is from the hocus-pocus incantation by magicians on the American frontier.

The resurrection is a deal breaker--without the resurrection, our faith is futile. 

If the resurrection is a hoax, it is the most deadly hoax in history!

"Every single shred of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is also evidence for my eventual resurrection." Dr. Gary Habermas

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.” John 11:25
Despite the soon theory (see the end of this blog post for information on this theory), the evidence is overwhelming that Jesus died on the cross.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. John 19:1

The pain from flogging was excruciating. In fact, the term excruciating is derived from "out of the cross." (Latin verb excruciare) It was invented to describe the pain of this torture as tormenting
Jesus must have been close to death after the flogging.

But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. John 19:33-34


Consider the evidence

1. Early Accounts. Not enough time passed from the crucifixion to chronicling of resurrection for any consistent exaggerations to be formulated.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: 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 
1 Corinthians 15:3-4

2. Empty Tomb. Using women as eyewitnesses to this indicates it is true. A hoax documented by women was worthless in the 1st Century.

...but when they entered the tomb, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 
Luke 24:3
The most powerful fact about Jesus tomb: 

3. Eyewitness accounts. Jesus appeared at least twelve times of the forty days following the resurrection. A total of over 500 people were present at these appearances.

…[Jesus] appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also… 
1 Corinthians 15:5-8

4. Emergence of the church. There was a huge change in attitude by the disciples after the resurrection. Listen to Peter who denied Jesus three times on the eve of the crucifixion.
Then Peter stood up… raised his voice and addressed the crowd… “God has raised the Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.”

Acts 2:14, 32

Bottom Line
Nobody knowingly and willingly dies for a lie.
All religious "fanatics" who die for their faith BELIEVE their faith is TRUE!

Thanks to Dr. Keith Newman for the primary teachings in this post. Although this was originally an "Easter Sunday sermon," the truths are true any time of any year. The rest of the series answers these questions:
Only One Way?
God is Great, God is Good?
Doubters Allowed?

The Swoon Theory suggests that the cool, damp air of the tomb somehow revived Jesus after three days and He decided to exit. There are dozens of websites debunking this idea. Here's one: Resurrection Theories Debunked: Christ Rose! This post is from Josh McDowell ministries and debunks several other theories besides swooning.

Next Timeless Truth is Only One Way? Got Questions Series - 2

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