Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Resurrection Myth?

          Many scholars and academics dismiss the life of Jesus simply because of the resurrection; that is, that after He was crucified on a Roman cross, there was no way he could have came back to life three days later.  It doesn’t fit with their worldview which ignores any kind of supernatural possibility, or a miracle, and they will not even look into the greatest story ever told – the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.
The place where Jesus was laid in the Tomb
            As the Church throughout the world begins to celebrate Easter Day and then the 50 days of the Easter Season, what should we say to those who question whether or not this is some myth made up by legends and misguided fools?  John R.W. Stott writes a concise summary: Firstly, the tomb was empty, and no adequate alternative to the resurrection has ever explained the disappearance of the body.  Secondly, the Lord was seen, and the appearances do not fit with what we know of hallucinations. Thirdly, the disciples were changed people. Only the resurrection can account for their transformation from doubt to faith, cowardice to courage, and sorrow to joy.
            The Apostles taught in the New Testament that because Jesus rose from the dead that all who believe in him may receive forgiveness of their sins (Peter – Acts 10:43; John – 1 John 2:1,2; Paul – 1 Corinthians 15:17).  Jesus himself even said the night before his death – “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Mt. 26:28, NIV). 
This was the purpose of his death and resurrection – to bring forgiveness of sins.  Many people are shocked when they hear this, but it is why we celebrate Easter.  If he had not risen, then his life and death would have been a sham.  He would have been no Messiah!
BUT he did rise from the grave, and because of this, all who come to him by faith may receive pardon and absolution.  None of us can mask or hide our sinfulness although we try very hard.  Our guilt, pain, and separation from God can only be resolved in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  There is nothing like his forgiveness.  There is nothing like his peace. It is tangible and real, and it transforms your life. Without the resurrection this would have not been possible.

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